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Overview of the Senate budget proposal

Late last evening, the Senate leadership released their proposed $20.6 billion budget [1] for FY2013-14. This proposal fails to fully invest the slight uptick in revenues into the public priorities that ensure better opportunities for all children, help get North Carolinians back to work, and rebuild the middle class.

Furthermore, by linking this proposal to their revenue-reducing tax plan, Senate leadership fails to lay a foundation for a strong economy and thriving families and communities. Over the biennium, the Senate tax package would reduce available revenues by $217.1 million in FY2013-14 and $553.1 million in FY2014-15. As we mentioned last week, these tax cuts would primarily benefit the wealthiest residents and corporations [2] and would extend well beyond the next biennium.

As illustrated in the chart below, the Senate proposal for FY2013-14 would increase spending by 1.7 percent over the base budget [3]. Yet, spending would drop by .1 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively, compared to the Governor’s proposal and pre-recession levels (FY2007-08, adjusted).

CHART-Sen Proposal Compared to Base Budget, Gov Budget, and Pre-Recession_May19 [4]

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittees will meet this afternoon to review, discuss, and vote on the appropriation items and special provisions in their respective budget areas. My colleges and I at the Budget and Tax Center reviewed the 159-page Money Report [5] and put together a short list of noteworthy items in the major budget areas:

K-12 Education

Community Colleges

UNC System

Health and Human Services

Natural and Economic Resources

Tomorrow, we will break down the general fund availability statement to give you an idea of how the Senate leadership pays for their budget.