The Senate budget passed last week sets out the ways in which federal dollars will be invested in various key priorities for the health, well-being and infrastructure of our communities. But, unlike previous years, it is not guaranteed that North Carolina will receive these funds. North Carolina already faces an uncertain future in 2018 as the state is projected to lose $1.1 billion (8.7 percent) in federal discretionary grant funding compared to 2016 levels. If these dollars do not arrive from the federal government, it will present a serious challenge to how North Carolina will pay for important investments.
As we have detailed since the release of President Trump’s budget blueprint, proposed elimination of key programs and unspecified cuts will hurt North Carolinians and our communities. It will also shift costs to states.
North Carolina can ill afford further abandonment by the federal government of its commitment to strengthen the state’s economy and communities. These are dollars that help to ensure hungry children have access to nutritious food, that children can receive a good education regardless of the wealth of their community, that housing can be kept to code and accessible to seniors and people with disabilities, and that water and sewer infrastructure is sound.
Indeed, federal cuts and program eliminations could force state policymakers to let more needs go unmet or raise taxes.
Here is how the Senate would like to allocate just three of the 20 major federal grants on the chopping block. Importantly, there is no mention by Senate leaders of how they would address the loss of these funds. Read more