BTC BRIEF: State Investments in Public Services Declining Even as Demand Grows - State funding for education, health, and public safety remain historically low

By Edwin McLenaghan
Public Policy Analyst, NC Budget & Tax Center
December 2011


  • By any reasonable measure, state spending on education, health and human services, public safety, and other general government services is historically low.
  • State funding for core General Fund services including education, health, and public safety is projected to reach a 40‐year low – as a share of North Carolina residents’ incomes – over the next two years.
  • Per capita state funding for core services, adjusted for a measure of inflation specific to state and local government expenditures, will reach a 25‐year low in the second year of the two‐year budget.
  • In the coming decade and beyond, an aging population, rising health care costs, and a growing gap between workers’ skills and the demands of the job market are going to put enormous pressure on state funding for core services.


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