Election 2012 Issue Brief - State Spending on Public Investments

Background

Public Investments: North Carolina’s state spending on the public investments—schools, health care, and infrastructure—is at a 40-year low. In 2011, legislative leadership took a slash-and-burn approach to the state budget and chose to:

  • Cut nearly $2 billion from education over two years, resulting in higher tuition in universities and fewer educators in public schools.
  • Nearly eliminate the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, which aids rural communities with water and infrastructure projects.
  • Decrease access to health care by cutting more than $750 million from Medicaid over two years.

Job Creation: An analysis of the biennial state budget passed in 2011—looking at both the spending and tax sides—found that North Carolina will lose an estimated 30,000 jobs as a result of the budget over the two years.

Global Competition: North Carolina became a great place to live, do business, grow up and grow old thanks to generations who worked hard to create and sustain world-class universities, renowned medical centers, and public safety institutions that benefit us all. Keeping North Carolina competitive will require stable and, in some cases, expanded investments.

North Carolina’s Revenue System: The root cause of North Carolina’s declining investments is our outdated revenue system, which is inadequate and inequitable. State leaders must commit to creating an adequate and stable revenue system that requires fair contributions for everyone, including the wealthy and corporations.

 

Questions for Candidates

  • The state budget has been drastically cut over the last few years and state spending is now at the same level it was in the Nixon years. Would you take a balanced approach to budget shortfalls, one that looks at raising revenue?
  • The 2011 cuts-only budget caused significant damage to North Carolina’s public institutions and left some services dramatically underfunded. If elected, what would you do to restore investments in education, health care, infrastructure, and the environment?
Research & Publications: 
Issues: