NC Senate budget fails low-income housing, military and veterans; eliminates public sector jobs

[Note: The following analysis pertains to North Carolina’s general government agencies. Every state across the country has general government agencies that provide core public services and functions for citizens and government. In North Carolina, these agencies consist of: Administration, Auditor, General Assembly, Governor, Housing Finance Agency, Insurance, Lieutenant Governor, Military and Veterans Affairs, Office of Administrative Hearings, Revenue, Secretary of State, State Board of Elections, State Budget and Management, State Controller, Treasurer.]

The Senate’s budget provides for development of low-income housing units but falls $4 million short compared to Governor’s request

The Senate’s proposed budget provides $16 million next year in non-recurring money to the Workforce Housing Loan Program (WHLP). In contrast, the governor recommended $20 million in funding for the WHLP to assist with the development of low-income housing units across the state. According to the Senate’s budget, the funds for this program were received by the state from a settlement agreement with Moody’s Corporation.

The Senate’s budget fails the NC Department of Military and Veteran’s Affairs

The Senate’s budget also falls $1.7 million short of what the Governor recently recommended for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. This is unfortunate given that one of North Carolina’s goals is “to be the most military friendly state in the country,” and that our state is home to nearly 800,000 veterans, 145,000 military defense personnel, and several major military installations.

The Governor proposed providing the Department an additional $3.9 million over the next biennium. However, the Senate’s budget would only provide the Department $2.2 million of what the Gov. requested. As one example, while the Gov. requested $4 million to support efforts to retain and enhance North Carolina military bases through the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, the Senate only provides $2M to the Military Presence Stabilization Fund (which assists communities in investment efforts to sustain and maintain the state’s military programs and activities).

To make matters worse, the Senate does not provide any of the 10 full-time positions that the Governor requested to ensure veterans’ cemeteries are appropriately staffed.

The Senate’s budget eliminates general government positions that have been vacant

Nine general government agencies (including the Department of Information Technology) would lose a combined 22 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions. Most of these positions would be eliminated as they are classified as having been vacant for over a year.

  • Agency losing the most FTE positions: Department of Administration (8)
  • Agency gaining the most FTE positions: Office of Administrative Hearings (6)
  • Notable gains and losses: The Office of the Lieutenant Governor would gain one administrative assistant over the biennium at a cost of $47,812, increasing its total number of positions to seven. Meanwhile, the Department of Revenue would lose three positions dedicated to “Documents and Payment Processing.”

The Senate’s budget would provide many NC general government agencies an increase; two agencies would see a cut next year

The Senate’s proposed budget would provide an increase to 12 of North Carolina’s general government agencies next year. The General Assembly ($3.7 million), the Department of Insurance ($1.6 million), and the Department of Revenue ($3.8 million) would see the largest increases over the next two years. Of the General Assembly’s $3.7 million, $3.3 million covers salary increases, retirement contributions, and health benefit coverage plans. The Governor recommended $3.9 million for the General Assembly.

Meanwhile two general government agencies would see a downward adjustment next year. The State Board of Elections would see a $21,236 cut, while the Department of State Treasurer would see a negative $5.6 million adjustment as the General Assembly eliminates net General Fund appropriations for the Investment Management Division positions.

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