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Overview: Final budget deal falls short, puts North Carolina on a path to mediocrity

Yesterday evening, legislators released a $20.6 billion budget compromise [1] that will likely to be voted upon and sent to the Governor’s desk for final approval later this week. This budget shorts investments in vital public services, and fails to catch up and keep up with the needs of a growing North Carolina population across major service areas (see the chart below). Some of the budget cuts could have been avoided had lawmakers decided not to drain available revenues by $524 million over the next two years through an ill-advised series of tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthy and profitable corporations.

As the Director of the NC Budget and Tax Center asserted in her statement [2], “This revenue loss isn’t just a number on a piece of paper—it means fewer teachers in more crowded classrooms, higher tuition rates and elevated debt load for families, scarcer economic development opportunities for distressed communities, and longer waiting lists for senior services.”

Final_falling behind [3]

Here is a short list of noteworthy items in the major budget areas:



Community Colleges/UNC System

Health and Human Services

Natural and Economic Resources

Justice and Public Safety



The North Carolina Budget and Tax Center will continue to closely examine the final budget compromise. And tomorrow, we will break down the general fund availability statement to give you an idea of how legislative leadership pays for their budget.