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Conference budget is a disappointment for North Carolina

The conference budget passed this past week by both legislative chambers misses a whole host of opportunities to provide adequate, basic services and improve the lives of everyday North Carolinians. Legislative leaders describe this budget as a compromise that maximizes the use of limited dollars, yet those very legislators have prioritized tax cuts over investments in the services and programs that strengthen our growing state.

The false choices represented in this budget — innovations waivers versus closing the coverage gap, teachers versus early childhood programming — are largely the result of these tax cuts for the wealthy, which began in 2013. With $3.6 billion in lost revenue each year since then, General Assembly leaders have proposed additional cuts for the richest North Carolinians that worsen the already upside-down tax code that places a greater tax burden on those with the lowest incomes.

Here are just a few of the ways that the conference budget fails to make proper investments in our state:

With Friday’s veto from the Governor, we will look to legislators on both sides of the aisle for a sustained veto so that our elected leaders can start over on a new budget that reaffirms our collective values and better addresses the needs of all in our state.

Suzy Khachaturyan is a Policy Analyst at the Budget and Tax Center, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center.

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