Just two weeks into the legislative session, North Carolinians already are seeing how limited policymakers’ aspirations are for the future of communities and families.
First, the Governor proposed a state budget that fell far short of what North Carolina needs to have thriving communities and broad prosperity.
Then, yesterday, leaders of the House and Senate agreed on setting their sights even lower.
As if the limitations forced by tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy weren’t enough, legislative leaders went a step farther in the wrong direction by tying their spending targets to a flawed formula that replaces judgment with rigid numbers.
In deciding that what the state spends in a year can’t increase by more than the percentage growth in population and inflation, legislative leaders set a target at a little over $22 billion – less than the governor’s.
Such a formula is similar to one that has been severely reducing the quality of life in Colorado. A report from Colorado just this weekend found this inflexible policy is seriously diminishing educational opportunity. Students are trying to learn with outdated technology, and schools are having a hard time attracting or keeping the best teachers. The state’s ability to compete in the global economy can only suffer as a result. Read more