North Carolina must be deliberate and thoughtful in preparing for a long-term trajectory that can sustain thriving communities despite the loss of federal funding for health care, food assistance, and more.

The U.S. federal budget sets out our shared priorities as a nation and can ensure that we deliver on our promise of opportunity for all, no matter where one lives. President Trump and some in Congress have made it clear, however, that they intend to reduce the role of the federal government and shift costs to the states by cutting federal funding for health care, food assistance, and many other areas. Such a cost shift to states will ultimately mean that North Carolina, and most Southern states, will be left behind and residents will be left out of the benefits of a thriving economy.

The final 2018 federal budget will play out in state budgets over the 2018-19 fiscal years and for decades moving forward. Each year, state policymakers will have to make decisions within the context of the framework set forward by the federal budget which, under President Trump, would dramatically change the federal and state contract that seeks to protect the health, well-being and financial security of our nation.