The proposal for state spending keeps investment so low that North Carolina will be well below the historic average in a critical year. By failing to take advantage of the national economic expansion, make progress towards meeting community needs, and undoing damaging cuts that have been made year after year, this budget proposal misses the opportunity to strengthen our foundation for a stronger economic future.
Tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthy few at the top are, in part, driving this low level of investment in the public good, as is the belief that our collective commitment to well-being can afford to be meager because it will only affect North Carolinians who are poor or already marginalized.
The reality is that public investments matter to us all. The success of our neighbors affects the overall strength of our communities and economy.
The next round of tax cuts in this budget proposal — on top of those already passed — will result in nearly $4 billion in lower revenue to meet communities’ pressing needs. The proposal, once again, fails to prioritize the education of our children in quality classrooms and child care centers, and access to health care for our neighbors.
Health care cannot wait. The failure to expand Medicaid in this budget is a choice that prolongs the suffering of too many North Carolinians and undercuts the well-being of communities across the state.
The state budget is a powerful tool for our leaders to promote the security that every North Carolinian deserves. Unfortunately, the conference budget has prioritized tax cuts for the few over investment in the public good and failed to pursue Medicaid expansion to provide health care to half a million North Carolinians.
This proposal should be vetoed by the Governor because it fails to respond to the priorities of North Carolinians today and compromises the safety and health of generations to come.