Statement on the budget deal from Alexandra F. Sirota, Director of the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center:
The final budget that state lawmakers will vote on in the coming days reflects missed opportunities for North Carolina. By pursuing more tax cuts even as states like Kansas have reversed course and abandoned their own failed tax-cut experiment, leaders of the NC General Assembly have chosen to stay the course and continue to do less for more North Carolinians.
The final state budget includes many of the worst ideas and budget decisions from the House and Senate proposed budgets — including cutting legal assistance for low-income residents, failure to provide needed additional funding for K-12 classroom teachers, and using increasingly uncertain federal dollars to meet ongoing state priorities.
North Carolina’s leaders should put forward a budget that truly reflects the priorities of our growing state, including healthy and safe communities, quality educational opportunities and skills training, thriving communities, and broadly shared economic prosperity. They should make a sustained commitment to rebuilding Eastern North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew instead of offering just a fraction of what is needed. Instead, lawmakers have chosen to give even more benefits to the wealthy and profitable corporations. As state leaders continue to dig their heels in on their failed tax cut experiment, it is time for leaders across the state to emerge and demonstrate the harm of another budget that is not worthy of North Carolinians.