2018 Fiscal Year State Budget, NC Budget and Tax Center

Statement: This budget deal is not worthy of North Carolinians

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.

NC Budget and Tax Center

Trump budget would shift huge SNAP costs to states, put North Carolinians at risk of going hungry

President Trump’s budget proposal would shift a significant share of the cost of the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program’s (SNAP, previously known as Food Stamps) benefits to states and, for the first time, allow states to cut SNAP benefits, seriously threatening SNAP’s extraordinary long-term success  in reducing severe hunger and malnutrition, according to a new report from the Washington, DC-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

“This proposal threatens to dramatically increase the number of North Carolinians at risk of going hungry,” said Brian Kennedy II, Public Policy Fellow with the Budget & Tax Center. “In a nation of this much wealth, that would be unconscionable. North Carolina’s congressional delegation must reject any proposal that puts North Carolinians, including children, seniors, and people with disabilities, at risk of not getting enough to eat.”

Historically, SNAP benefits have been financed with federal funds to ensure that regional disparities in hunger, poverty and resources are properly addressed which has helped ensure that low-income households have access to adequate food despite where they might live.

The President’s budget would end this longstanding and successful approach by forcing states to cover 10 percent of SNAP benefit costs beginning in 2020, and increasing that share to 25 percent in 2023 and later years. The proposal would cut federal SNAP funding by $116 billion over a decade. Read more

NC Budget and Tax Center

Video: Eight months after Hurricane Matthew, North Carolinians still struggling to rebuild

 

Today is the 8-month anniversary of the day Hurricane Matthew first hit North Carolina’s shores. It flooded the Eastern part of the state, causing $2.8 billion in damage and unsettling the lives of many North Carolinians. Eight months later, their lives remain unsettled. Many are still living in hotels all over Eastern North Carolina. Their children are at unfamiliar schools. Employees and business owners can’t get back to work.

Robeson County was one of the hardest hit areas of North Carolina. Many people are still waiting to hear if FEMA will help rebuild their homes, and there is still a great need for places like the Free Relief Store. Adrienne Kennedy, a full-time volunteer at the Free Relief Store, is still living in a hotel room herself, but it hasn’t stopped her from connecting people in Robeson County with the help they need. The Free Relief Store hands out donations of food, clothing, furniture and more, and it connects people with information about services that they don’t hear about anywhere else.

Adrienne and the other folks in this video are just a few of the people we’ve talked to all over the Eastern part of the state who are still in limbo after Hurricane Matthew.

North Carolina has only allocated $200.9 million in state funding for disaster relief assistance. The joint budget allocates only $100 million more, contingent on the passage of a separate bill. With the federal government giving less than 1 percent of the requested $929.4 million needed to rebuild Eastern NC, these numbers fall far short of what is needed to rebuild the lives of these North Carolinians. It’s time for lawmakers in North Carolina to commit to investing what is needed to rebuild the lives of these North Carolinians.

Find out more at http://www.ncjustice.org/hurricanematthew.

Related Links

Hoy conmemoramos el octavo mes desde que el Huracán Matthew primero golpeó las costas de Carolina del Norte.  El huracán inundó la parte oriental del estado causando $2.8 billones en daño y descolocando las vidas de muchos Norte Carolinos.  Ocho meses después, sus vidas siguen desarregladas.  Muchos todavía están viviendo en hoteles por todas partes del Este de Carolina del Norte.  Sus hijos asisten escuelas extrañas.  Empresarios y empleados no pueden regresar a sus trabajos.

El condado de Robeson fue una de las áreas más afectadas en Carolina del Norte.  Muchas personas todavía esperan saber si FEMA asistirá en reconstruir sus hogares, y todavía existe una gran necesidad de tener almacenes socorristas como el “Free Relief Store.”  Adrienne Kennedy, que es una voluntaria de tiempo completo en el almacén Free Relief Store, todavía sigue viviendo ella misma en un cuarto de hotel, pero eso no la ha impedido en conectar a las personas en el condado de Robeson con la ayuda que necesitan.  El almacén Free Relief Store distribuye donaciones de alimentos, ropa, muebles y más, y conecta a la gente con información sobre servicios que de otro modo no conocerían.

Adrienne al igual que las otras personas en este video solo son unas cuantas personas con quienes hemos podido hablar por toda la parte oriental del estado quienes todavía están en el limbo después del Huracán Matthew.

El estado de Carolina del Norte solamente ha asignado $200.9 millones de fondos estatales para proveer asistencia de auxilio en caso de desastre. La Cámara de Representantes y el Senado solamente asignaron $100 millones adicionales, pero aun esa cantidad dependería de la disposición o promulgación de otra ley. Con el gobierno federal dando menos de un por ciento (1%) de los $92.4 millones requeridos para reconstruir la parte oriental de Carolina del Norte, estos fondos quedan muy lejos de la cantidad necesitada para reconstruir las vidas de estos Norte Carolinos. Ya es hora de que los legisladores en Carolina del Norte se comprometan a examinar lo que se necesita para poder reconstruir las vidas de estos Norte Carolinos.

2018 Fiscal Year State Budget, NC Budget and Tax Center

Quickly compare the Governor, Senate and House budgets in one place

The Budget & Tax Center has released a chart that compares highlights from the proposed budgets from the Governor, the Senate and the House, so you can see side-by-side exactly how the budgets are different on a number of points. Check out the whole chart here, or jump directly to a specific topic.

NC Budget and Tax Center, Trump Administration

Four ways Trump’s budget will harm North Carolina

Smart public investments at the federal level can create jobs, raise wages, increase education, and help unlock economic prosperity for more people and places in our country. Here are four ways the President’s plan would take North Carolina in the opposite direction:

1. Trump’s budget on food assistance: Slashes food assistance by $193 billion over 10 years and shifts the cost of more than $100 billion in SNAP benefits, a longtime federal responsibility, to the states.

Effect on North Carolina: North Carolina is the 8th hungriest place in the US, with 15.9 percent of our people not always knowing where their next meal is coming from. In 2015, SNAP reached 1.6 million North Carolinians, targeting the most vulnerable folks to help ensure that older adults, veterans, and children get enough to eat each day. SNAP benefits help to stimulate the state’s economy too, pumping upward of $2 billion into the economy. On average, from 2011 to 2014, SNAP benefits lifted 175,000 North Carolinians, including 81,000 children, out of poverty.

Read more