The North Carolina Senate tentatively passed their version of the state budget after a late-night debate on Jones Street. Their budget contains several policy positions aimed at Republican leaders ideological agenda more than state spending. Here are a few notable items.
Certificate of Need: The senate budget would eliminate the certificate of need system for healthcare facilities by 2025. Healthcare experts have claimed that repealing certificate of need programs “would be a disaster for rural healthcare.” Eliminating certificate of need would lead to healthcare price inflation and smaller, rural hospitals will suffer.
State Health Benefits: The senate budget would eliminate medical insurance for future state employees after retirement. All state employees hired after July 2018 would not be entitled to health benefits when they retire.
Wind Farms: The senate budget would impose a three year moratorium on new wind farms in order to study the potential safety risks that wind farms pose to military operations – when asked on the floor Republican Senators could not name one military leader that had expressed this concern on the record. If passed, the moratorium could potentially derail the proposed Timermill Wind Farm in Chowan and Perquimans counties.
Earlier this week, Sen Phil Berger told the crowd at Rural Day that the Senate remains focused on “how we can improve the life of hard-working folks like you and your families” such as “confronting the opioid crisis” and creating common senses change that “enables rural North Carolina to thrive just like the rest of North Carolina.
Apparently, he forgot to tell his budget writers because the Senate budget clearly cares more about millionaire’s than rural communities.
The newest NEA State Education Rankings were released today and the biggest news is that North Carolina's per pupil funding actually dropped from 2016 to 2017. Here are the highlights:
It’s clear from Senate Republicans’ proposed budget that they are determined to follow their same misguided priorities - placing the millionaires and billionaires that fund their campaigns ahead of the needs of everyday North Carolinians. When compared to the governor's budget, this budget falls short in several key ways:
Instead of investing in schools, the Republican leaders in the Senate are willing to give away hundreds of millions of dollars on tax breaks for billionaires and giant corporations.
This plan would give millionaires a tax cut 60 times the size of what middle class families would receive.
Since Republicans have taken control of the state legislature they’ve chosen millionaires before the middle class every step of the way. Under the Senate plan, eighty percent of state tax breaks since 2013 went to the wealthiest North Carolinians.
Yesterday, Speaker Tim Moore announced that a budget compromise may be on the horizon and it could feature block grants to local school districts. Instead of choosing the Senate’s plan to layoff teacher assistants and hire more teachers or the House’s version that protects TA&rsq…Read More
Yesterday the NCGA’s Fiscal Research Division and OSBM released new state revenue forecasts that found a $400 million surplus, instead of a deficit, as had been previously estimated. But buried in the official memo are two dichotomies that explains all you need to know about …Read More
We found these responses particularly insightful: On Thursday, Gov. Pat McCrory released a unambitious state budget, that barely covered the state’s most pressing needs. The Raleigh News & Observer explained it best, “The document runs almost 300 pages. Its expla…Read More
So what’s going to get cut? With the House agreeing to drop its proposal to sell more lottery tickets, there is no more increased revenue on the table in the budget conference committee. To pay for a teacher pay increase something or someone is going to get cut. Who is it going to …Read More