BTC REPORTS: The FY 2012-13 Senate Budget - Policy-heavy budget continues to short investments in key public structures

By Brenna Erford Burch, Tazra Mitchell, and Allan Freyer
Budget & Tax Center
June 2012

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • The North Carolina Senate’s $20.1 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2012- 2013 (FY2012-13) would increase total state spending by $211.9 million, or 1.1 percent, over the $19.9 billion continuation budget.
  • The Senate budget would reduce gross total revenue availability of $803.2 million by transferring $178.7 million to state savings accounts, spending $25.9 million for other adjustments, and paying $154 million toward North Carolina’s $280.5 million current-year Medicaid shortfall. This leaves the Senate budget with net General Fund availability of $444.7 million over base tax and non-tax revenues.
  • In a notable departure from the House budget, the Senate budget relies less heavily on one-time money, choosing instead to let overall levels of spending in key areas of state investment drop to new historic lows.
  • The Senate budget includes 30 pages of special provisions taken directly from Senate Bill 795, Excellent Public Schools Act, and funds first-year implementation of the plan’s components at a cost of $47.4 million. It would eliminate just $74 million of the $503 million in recurring cuts to school districts.
  • The Senate budget would restore $168.7 million in recurring funding to Medicaid, which significantly reduces but does not eliminate the program’s projected $243 million shortfall for FY2012-13.
  • The Senate budget takes no significant actions to address the state’s growing structural budget deficit, and as such it provides neither short- nor long-term relief from growing budget pressures in key areas of state investment, particularly education and human services, which will face sizeable budget gaps going into the FY2013-15 biennium.

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