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CAPITOL CONNECTION

July 2010 • Special Budget Edition

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State Budget Passes Spending Grows as Unemployment Remains High the state’s Rainy Day Fund, raiding Lottery money supposed to be dedicated to educan the middle of the “Great Recession,” tion, a reduction in Medicaid provider rates, a reduction to the state employee pension with a 10.3 percent unemployment system and a one percent across-the-board rate, North Carolina lawmakers still increased the budget “more than half a “management flexibility reduction.” Especially troubling about the continbillion dollars.” gency plan is the reduction to the state’s The spending plan increases actual spendpension system. Recent reports from the ing over the current fiscal year, adds 864 fullState Treasurer’s Office reveal that the pentime positions to the state payroll, and raids sion system is underfunded, and already lottery funds. requires an additional $650 million in state Total Spending Up Again, Safety Net Funds appropriations over the next two years to make it once again fully funded. Not Yet Approved All told, total spending on state proNorth Carolina’s 2010-11 state budget grams including the federal funding comes includes appropriations totaling $18.96 bilto about $20.6 billion in the state budget. lion, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The Due to a revenue shortfall, the current $18.96 billion does not count $1.04 billion 2009-10 budget year will likely see actual in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act appropriations (including federal funds) of (ARRA) – the federal stimulus act – funds about $20 billion. Thus, this year’s budget already embedded as cuts via last year’s twomarks an increase of about $600 million in year spending plan. That is money counted year-over-year spending, or about 3 percent. Finally, compared to 2008-09 actual appropriations of $19.65 billion, this year’s state budget will hike state spending over a two year period by nearly a billion dollars – roughly 4.8 percent – during the “greatest recession since the Great Depression.”

• BY Brian Balfour

I

“The spending plan increases actual spending over the current fiscal year, adds 864 fulltime positions to the state payroll, and raids lottery funds.”

NON-PROFIT ORG. US POSTAGE PAID Permit #144 Reidsville, NC

as a “cut” in the state budget, but backfilled by federal dollars. The budget also includes another $561 million in Medicaid “cuts,” which merely shifts funding to the feds. The $561 million, however, is money that would come from “enhanced funds” from the federal government that have not yet been approved by the U.S. Congress. In case these extra funds are not approved, North Carolina budget writers included a contingency plan to make up the difference. The “safety net” includes raiding trust funds such as the Disaster Relief Fund and

Public Education and Public Safety Cut the Deepest, Nearly Everything Else Increased In a curious display of priorities, the 2010-11 state budget reduces funding for K-12 education and public safety, while expanding spending on all other state agencies but one. The spending plan reduces funding for public education by more than $275 million – or roughly 3.7 percent – compared to the spending plan approved last year. A large share of this reduction, however, is not a spending reduction at all. The budget shifts an extra $121 million in state lottery funds to the pubic education budget to help finance teacher positions. Because the lottery money backfills funds the education budget would have otherwise needed to spend, it is counted as a budget cut. Similarly, the state’s Justice and Public Passed continued on pg 3

INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1

Sen. Clark Jenkins (D-Pitt) leans toward Sen. David Hoyle (D-Gaston) during the Senate’s session prior to the budget vote. Both senators, along with Sen. Dan Clodfelter (D-Mecklenburg), who is also pictured, voted in favor of the $20.6 billion state spending plan. Photo: Jana Benscoter

Deficit to be Worse in 2011 • BY BRIAN BALFOUR

I

f you thought this year’s state budget was tight – you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. State lawmakers were yet again unable to implement meaningful spending reform during the 2010 short session, much like the 2009-10 long session.

North Carolina will face, at minimum, a $2.8 billion deficit when the General Assembly meets again in 2011. The cause – our elected leaders continue to spend at greater rates than what the state has available from its revenue sources. To fill the 2010-11 budget gap, lawmakers relied on more than $1.5 billion of non-recurring federal stimulus funds and $1.3 billion in temporary tax revenue. Without those two significant sources of funding, state budget writers will scramble to find funds to fill the alarming $2.8 billion revenue hole when they reconvene next year. To make matters worse, a nationwide survey of economists project the economy to continue to be very sluggish well into 2011. Such realities suggest slow revenue growth (if any) for fiscal year 2011-12. More than likely, any revenue growth will fall well short of lost stimulus and temporary tax revenues. Further deepening the expected budget hole for next year are exploding burdens of state employees. Estimates of the State Health Plan, the insurance provider for state teachers and employees, project an additional $200 million will be required in 2010-11 to keep up with rising health care costs. The state’s pension system for retired teachers and state workers will require an additional $450 million above this year’s appropriation in order to keep the system fully funded. And the pension obligation may be even larger if the state is forced to rely on its contingency plan should the federal government not approve additional Medicaid funds to the state. The contingency plan calls for a $139 million reduction in this year’s pension fund contribution, which would only enlarge the amount needed next year to keep the pension fully funded. And the pension obligation may be even larger if the state is forced to rely on its contingency plan – taking money from the state lottery, Disaster Relief and Rainy Day funds – should the federal government not approve additional Medicaid funds to the state. Forecast continued on pg 8

State Budget Passes Deficit to be Worse in 2011

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Small Change for Big Problems

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Statistics

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November Is Coming

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Legislative Directory

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From the Editor Northern Wake Republican Club Fundraiser

Sen. AB Swindell (D-Nash) listens as Sen. Don Davis (D-Greene) makes his pitch on the Senate floor. Both senators voted for the budget that increased spending. With a projected $3 billion shortfall next year, North Carolinians can expect to see more tax increases in the future. Photo: Jana Benscoter


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July 2010

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State Government Adds Jobs while Private Sector Number of Private Sector Workers Per State Employment Drops Employee • BY Brian Balfour

T

12.0

he number of state government employees in North Carolina has risen at a healthy clip since 2001. At the same time, the private sector lost 50,000 jobs.

North Carolina state government added 34,824 full-time equivalent positions from 2001 through 2009, an increase of 12.3 percent, according to the North Carolina Employment Security Commission. Conversely, North Carolina’s private sector shed 49,900 jobs during the same time period, a workforce reduction of 1.6 percent. These employment trends mean that the number of private sector workers to each state employee has dropped from 11.4 to 10. As state government absorbs a larger and larger share of the state’s labor market, North Carolina taxpayers should be concerned for a number of reasons: • Growing government consumes more resources from the productive economy, meaning less productive investment for future job growth and income gains. • A shrinking number of private sector workers supporting each state employee place a larger tax burden on the remaining private sector workers. • A growing state workforce increases long-term budgetary obligations such as salaries, benefits and pensions. The state budget already faces massive deficits, and its already unsustainable growth rate has been well documented. The contrast between increasing state employees and declining private sector jobs underscores the continued growth of state government in North Carolina. More and more of this state’s resources – including labor – are being controlled by the State. Civitas

CAPITOL CONNECTION

11.5 11.0 10.5 10.0 9.5 9.0 2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Sources:  N.C.  Fiscal  Research  Division,  N.C.  Employment  Security  Commission

Matthew’s Rugs and Furniture on Capital Blvd. is among many factories and stores that have gone out of business during the economic downward spiral. The private sector has lost a net of 50,000 jobs since 2001.

 

December  2001  

December  2009  

Number  of  Jobs   Added  (Lost)  

%  Change  from   2001-­‐2009  

Private  Sector  

3,217,300  

3,167,400  

(49,900)  

-­‐1.6%  

State  Government    

282,135  

316,959  

34,824  

12.3%  

Photo by Jana Benscoter

Several North Carolina Department of Education employees hard at work at 3:30 p.m. in late June. Government jobs continue to climb while private jobs wane in growth. Photo by Jana Benscoter

At a time when private employers are laying off workers, is it wrong for the number of government employees to grow?

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CIVITAS CAPITOL CONNECTION, Not Sure 11%

your connection to the Raleigh beltline without the traffic.

Ethical 9%

N AM E

PUBLISHER

Francis X. De Luca Francis.Deluca@nccivitas.org MANAGING EDITOR

Jana Benscoter

ADDRESS

Not Sure 9% Disagree 31%

Agree 60%

Civitas Poll June 2010

CITY

Jana.Benscoter@nccivitas.org Editorial & Advertising 100 S. Harrington Street Raleigh, NC 27603 919-834-2099 (phone)

The rate of growth of government jobs should not exceed the rate of growth of private sector jobs.

STAT E

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www.nccivitas.org All non-advertising content published in Civitas Capitol Connection may be republished as

2009

Not Sure 11%

Ethical 9%

long as appropriate

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credit is given and it is published in its entirety.

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Copyright 2010

Not Sure 13% Disagree 23%

Agree 64%

Civitas Poll June 2010

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July 2010

CAPITOL CONNECTION

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Tax Credit for Small Businesses: Small Change for Big Problems ncluded in the recently-passed 2010-11 state budget was a $34 million tax credit designed to help North Carolina small businesses create jobs. These tax credits, however, are highly unlikely to stimulate any actual job growth. Budget writers decided on a tax credit scheme not considered in either the House or Senate budget proposals. What the final budget does offer is a temporary refundable credit amounting to 25 percent of a business’s unemployment insurance tax liability. The credit would be limited to businesses with annual revenue of less than $1 million, and expire at the end of 2011. The small, temporary targeted tax break pales in comparison to the

$1.4 billion in new taxes being levied on North Carolina’s economy this year, courtesy of last year’s budget bill. Indeed, the $34 million credit amounts to only about 2.5 percent of last year’s tax hike still burdening the state’s businesses. Moreover, the temporary nature of the tax break renders it virtually meaningless in terms of job creation. Business owners and entrepreneurs typically make their hiring decisions based on longer-term projections of their staffing needs. Knowing that the tax credit will expire at the end of next year won’t inspire many employers to make the significant commitment and investment required of hiring new workers. A better alternative to foster job growth in North Carolina would

Passed

rity staff for additional buildings being put to use.

• BY Brian Balfour

I

CONTINUED FROM PG 1

Safety budget is reduced by 3 percent in the finalized spending plan. Conversely, every other state agency’s budget – save one – is expanded for 2010-11. The agency with the largest such increase is Natural and Economic Resources, which expands by 11 percent, followed by a 4.4 percent increase for Health and Human Services (once federal funds are included). General Government is the only other agency decreased, and their reduction is a mere two-tenths of one percent. New Budget Adds 864 Full-Time State Employees In what would continue a long-term trend of growing state employment as private sector jobs contract, the 2010-11 state budget adds 864 full-time state positions even as North Carolina suffers from double-digit unemployment. Most of those positions would come in the form of staffing needs for a new women’s prison and a central prison hospital and mental health facility. The University of North Carolina University system would also add more than 280 new positions for maintenance and secu-

The state’s spending plan for next year will be around $20 billion, including about $1.6 billion from the federal stimulus package. Some say state legislators should refuse the federal money, and only spend the same amount we spent in 2007. Others favor accepting the federal money and therefore increasing North Carolina’s spending level. Would you favor or oppose accepting the money and increasing spending?

Not Sure 15% Oppose 46%

Support 39%

Civitas Poll June 2010

Raids Lottery Funds to Preserve 1,600 Teacher Jobs; Teachers and State Employees Pay Frozen The 2010-11 state budget raids $121 million of lottery proceeds to preserve a reported 1,600 teacher positions. The $121 million amount tracks closely to the State House’s proposal, but is nearly $90 million more than what the state Senate proposed. Meanwhile, Perdue didn’t include any lottery funds being transferred for teacher salaries in her proposal. Teacher and state employee salaries however will be frozen for the second straight year in the 2010-11 state budget. If the state needs to fall back on its contingency plan, however, furloughs or layoffs may be included as part of the management flexibility reduction. Ineffective Attempt at Small Business Relief Included in the budget is $34 million designated for a targeted tax credit intended to encourage job growth among North Carolina small business. The temporary refundable credit will amount to 25 percent of a business’s unemployment insurance liability. The credit would be limited to businesses with annual revenue of less than $1 million, and expire at the end of 2011. Such a small, targeted and temporary tax break is not likely to sway the hiring decisions of business owners. Lawmakers Pile on More Unauthorized Debt The State Treasurer’s most recent Debt Affordability study specifically warned that North Carolina state government has “substantially exhausted its General Fund debt capacity until FY 2012.” Moreover, the study strongly recommends that the state no longer rely on “special indebtedness” instruments such as Certificates of Participation, which do not require voter approval. In spite of these warnings, state budget writers authorized another $175 million of Certificates of Participation be issued to finance repair and renovations of state buildings and purchase equipment for the UNC and community college systems. In other words, the state is going against the advice of its Treasurer, and will again deny voters a voice over an increase in the state debt. North Carolina voters haven’t been allowed to vote on new state debt in a decade. w

be to permanently lower tax rates on all businesses. North Carolina currently imposes the highest tax rates on the income of small businesses in the Southeast and among the highest in the nation. Such tax rates place North Carolina at a competitive disadvantage. Disappointingly, North Carolina lawmakers failed to implement meaningful tax cuts that would generate sustainable job growth.

Cutting taxes on small businesses and large corporations that operate in North Carolina create a business-friendly environment that allows these companies to stay here and create and maintain jobs in North Carolina. Strongly Agree 50% Somewhat Agree 28% Somewhat Disagree 10% Strongly Disagree 9% Don’t Know 4%

Civitas Poll May 2010

IN FAVOR OF $20.6 BILLION 2010 SPENDING PLAN Senate Republicans (2) Bingham

Stevens

Senate Democrats (28) Albertson Dannely Graham Nesbitt Stein

Atwater Davis Hoyle Purcell Swindell

Basnight Dorsett Jenkins Queen Vaughan

Berger, D Foriest Jones Shaw Walters

Blue Garrou Kinnaird Snow

Clodfelter Goss McKissick Soles

Bordsen Cole FarmerButterfield Goforth Heagarty Jeffus McLawhorn Pierce Tarleton Warren, R Wray

Braxton Cotham

House Republicans (1) West

House Democrats (65) Adams Brisson

Alexander, K Alexander, M Bell Bryant Carney Coates

Crawford

Earle

England

Faison

Floyd, E Hackney Holliman Lucas Mobley Ross Tucker Whilden

Gibson Haire Hughes Luebke Owens Spear Underhill Wilkins

Gill Hall Insko Martin Parfitt Stewart Wainwright Williams

Glazier Harrison Jackson May Parmon Sutton Warren, E Womble

Fisher Goodwin Hill Love Michaux Rapp Tolson Weiss

AGAINST $20.6 BILLION 2010 SPENDING PLAN Senate Republicans (17) Allran Clary Jacumin

Apodaca East Preston

Berger, P Forrester Rouzer

Brock Goodall Rucho

Brown Hartsell Tillman

Brunstetter Hunt

Blackwood Cleveland Frye Holloway Justice McCormick Randleman Starnes

Blust Current Gillespie Howard Justus McElraft Rhyne Steen

Boles Daughtry Grady Hurley Killian McGee Sager Stevens

Senate Democrats (0) House Republicans (50) Avila Brown Dockham Guice Iler Langdon Mills Samuelson Tillis

Barnhart Brubaker Dollar Gulley Ingle Lewis Moore Setzer Wiley

Blackwell Burr Folwell Hilton Johnson McComas Neumann Stam

House Democrats (1) Jones

NOT VOTING Senate (1) House (2)

Blake (R) Brown (R)

Mackey (D)

Senate (4) House (2)

Boseman (D) Killian (R)

Dickson (D) Young (D)

ABSENT

Roll Call Senate #1399 House #1596 For contact information, read pages 6 and 7

Goodall (R)

Shaw (D)


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July 2010

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Civitas

North Carolina's Population vs. Real General Fund North Carolina’s Population Real General Fund Budget Growth 1979-2009 Budgetvs.Growth 1979-2009

25  

25  

20  

20  

15  

15  

Real  Expenditures  (billions  $)  

10  

10  

Popula2on  (in  millions)  

Popula2on  (millions)  

2009  

2008  

2007  

2006  

2005  

2004  

2003  

2002  

2001  

2000  

1999  

1998  

1997  

1996  

1995  

1994  

1993  

1992  

1991  

1990  

1989  

1988  

1987  

1986  

1985  

1984  

1983  

1982  

1981  

1980  

5  

1979  

5  

Real  Expenditures  (billions  $)  

The population of North Carolina grew by 61 percent over a 30-year period. In that same period, the state budget has more than tripled, even adjusting for inflation.

State Debt Per Capita, Fiscal Years 2000-2009 State Debt Per Capita 2000-2009

$900 $800 $700

$747

$739

2005

2006

$766

$768

$768

2007

2008

2009

$648

$600

$488

$500 $400

$320

$419

$373

$300 $200 $100 $0 2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

In less than 10 years, North Carolina’s per capita debt has more than doubled. The debt in 2009 was $768 per person, while in 2000, it Source:   orth  of Carolina   Annual  Fsince inancial   eport  for   009   Carolina constitution requiring a vote of the people was $320.NNone this debtComprehensive   has been voter approved 2000Rdespite the2North to issue debt. Source: North Carolina Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for 2009

Based  on  December  31,  2008  Results  with  a  COLA  of  0%  granted    each  year  aTer  2009,  annual  market   returns  of  15%    for  2009  and  7.25%  for  2010  and  beyond,  and  a  payroll  growth  rate  of  3.75%  aTer  FY  2011.  

Required Contribution Rate

110.0%  

$1,800  

$1,495   105.0%  

$1,547  

$1,583  

$1,606  

$1,623   $1,600  

$1,420   $1,400  

$1,315   $1,168  

100.0%  

Funded Ratios

Ratios and

$1,200  

$972  

$1,000  

95.0%   $800  

$684   90.0%  

$600  

$328  

$364  

$400  

85.0%   $200  

80.0%  

$0   2009  

2010  

2011  

2012  

2013  

2014  

2015  

2016  

2017  

2018  

2019  

2020  

Fiscal Year Ending Funded  Ra7o  from  Corresponding  Valua7on  

FYE  Required  General  Fund  Contribu7on  ($  millions)  

As of this year, the state’s teacher and employee pension system is not fully funded. To fully fund the system going forward, taxpayer apropriations to the system will need to triple from the current year amount by 2013, and increase dramatically every year thereafter. Based on December 31, 2008 results with a COLA of 0% granted each year after 2009, annual market returns of 15% for 2009 and 7.25% for 2010 and beyond, and a payroll growth rate of 3.75% after FY 2011.

Required General Fund Contribution in Millions $

Teachers’

Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System of North Carolina and State Employees’ Retirement System of North Carolina Projection Rates of Funded Projection of Funded Ratios and Required Contribution


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Civitas

July 2010

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State Expenditures Per Public School Student and Percentage of Schools Making Expected Growth on ABC Tests 1999-2009  $6,000    

100  

 $5,000    

80   70  

 $4,000    

60    $3,000    

50   40  

 $2,000    

30   20  

 $1,000    

10    $-­‐        

0   1999-­‐00  

2000-­‐01  

2001-­‐02  

2002-­‐03  

2003-­‐04  

2004-­‐05  

2005-­‐06  

2006-­‐07  

2007-­‐08  

2008-­‐09  

Year     State  Expenditures/Student    

Schools  Making  Expected  Growth  

Since D2000, state per pupil Source:  North  Carolina   epartment   of  support Public  InstrucOon     has increased 35 percent. However over the same period the

percentage of schools making expected growth under the state’s ABC Testing Program has only averaged 36 percent per year. In no year has the percentage of schools making expected growth exceeded 48 percent of all schools. Source: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

To purchase 11”x17” full color copies of charts that appear in Civitas Connection, contact posters@nccivitas.org, or call (919) 834-2099

Percent  of  Schools  Making  Expected  Growth  

Per  Student  Support  in  Thousands  of  Dollars    

90  


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July 2010

Civitas

CAPITOL CONNECTION

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How do I Contact My Legislator? House 1 Camden, Currituck, Pasquotank, Tyrrell Bill Owens (D) Rm. 635, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-0010 Bill.Owens@ncleg.net 2 Chowan, Dare, Hyde, Washington Timothy L. Spear (D) Rm. 402, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3029 Tim.Spear@ncleg.net 3 Craven, Pamlico Alice Graham Underhill (D) Rm. 1206, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5853 Alice.Underhill@ncleg.net

16 New Hanover, Pender Carolyn H. Justice (R) Rm. 306A3, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-9664 Carolyn.Justice@ncleg.net

This legislative directory provides legislative phone number and legislative address. Jones St. zip code is 27601. The Salisbury St. zip code is 27603.

4 Duplin, Onslow Russell E. Tucker (D) Rm. 416B, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3021 Russell.Tucker@ncleg.net

17 Brunswick Frank Iler (R) Rm. 306A2, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-301-1450 Frank.Iler@ncleg.net

5 Bertie, Gates, Hertford, Perquimans Annie W. Mobley (D) Rm. 638, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5780 Annie.Mobley@ncleg.net

18 New Hanover, Pender Sandra Spaulding Hughes (D) Rm. 537, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5754 Sandra.Hughes@ncleg.net

6 Beaufort, Pitt Arthur Williams (D) Rm. 637, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5906 Arthur.Williams@ncleg.net 7 Halifax, Nash Angela R. Bryant (D) Rm. 542, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5878 Angela.Bryant@ncleg.net 8 Martin, Pitt Edith D. Warren (D) Rm. 416A, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3023 Edith.Warren@ncleg.net 9 Pitt Marian N. McLawhorn (D) Rm. 1217, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5757 Marian.McLawhorn@ncleg.net 10 Greene, Lenoir, Wayne R. Van Braxton (D) Rm. 2219, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-3017 Van.Braxton@ncleg.net

19 New Hanover Daniel F. McComas (R) Rm. 506, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5786 Danny.McComas@ncleg.net 20 Brunswick, Columbus Dewey L. Hill (D) Rm. 1309, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5830 Dewey.Hill@ncleg.net 21 Sampson, Wayne Larry M. Bell (D) Rm. 538, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5863 Larry.Bell@ncleg.net 22 Bladen, Cumberland William D. Brisson (D) Rm. 1325, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5772 William.Brisson@ncleg.net 23 Edgecombe, Wilson Joe P. Tolson (D) Rm. 307B2, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3024 Joe.Tolson@ncleg.net

11 Wayne Efton M. Sager (R) Rm. 508, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5755 Efton.Sager@ncleg.net

24 Edgecombe, Wilson Jean Farmer-Butterfield (D) Rm. 528, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5898 Jean.Farmer-Butterfield@ncleg. net

12 Craven, Lenoir William L. Wainwright (D) Rm. 301F, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5995 William.Wainwright@ncleg.net

25 Nash Randy Stewart (D) Rm. 1219, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5802 Randy.Stewart@ncleg.net

13 Carteret, Jones Pat McElraft (R) Rm. 603, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-6275 Pat.McElraft@ncleg.net

26 Johnston N. Leo Daughtry (R) Rm. 1013, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5605 Leo.Daughtry@ncleg.net

14 Onslow George G. Cleveland (R) Rm. 504, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-6707 George.Cleveland@ncleg.net

27 Northhampton, Vance, Warren Michael H. Wray (D) Rm. 405, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5662 Michael.Wray@ncleg.net

15 Onslow W. Robert Grady (R) Rm. 302, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-9644 Robert.Grady@ncleg.net

28 Johnston, Sampson James H. Langdon, Jr. (R) Rm. 610, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5849 James.Langdon@ncleg.net

29 Durham Larry D. Hall (D) Rm. 417B, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5872 Larry.Hall@ncleg.net

45 Cumberland Rick Glazier (D) Rm. 2215, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5601 Rick.Glazier@ncleg.net

30 Durham Paul Luebke (D) Rm. 529, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-7663 Paul.Luebke@ncleg.net

46 Hoke, Robeson, Scotland Douglas Y. Yongue (D) Rm. 2207, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5821 Douglas.Yongue@ncleg.net

31 Durham Henry M. Michaux, Jr. (D) Rm. 1227, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-2528 Mickey.Michaux@ncleg.net

47 Robeson Ronnie Sutton (D) Rm. 1321, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-0875 Ron.Sutton@ncleg.net

32 Granville, Vance James W. Crawford, Jr. (D) Rm. 1326, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5824 Jim.Crawford@ncleg.net

48 Hoke, Robeson, Scotland Garland E. Pierce (D) Rm. 301C, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5803 Garland.Pierce@ncleg.net

33 Wake Rosa U. Gill (D) Rm. 1305, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5880 Rosa.Gill@ncleg.net

49 Franklin, Halifax, Nash John May (D) Rm. 536, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5860 John.May@ncleg.net

34 Wake Grier Martin (D) Rm. 2123, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5758 Grier.Martin@ncleg.net

50 Caswell, Orange Bill Faison (D) Rm. 611, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3019 Bill.Faison@ncleg.net

35 Wake Jennifer Weiss (D) Rm. 532, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3010 Jennifer.Weiss@ncleg.net

51 Harnett, Lee Jimmy L. Love, Sr. (D) Rm. 305, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3026 Jimmy.Love@ncleg.net

36 Wake Nelson Dollar (R) Rm. 1209, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-0795 Nelson.Dollar@ncleg.net

52 Moore James L. Boles, Jr. (R) Rm. 501, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5903 Jamie.Boles@ncleg.net

37 Wake Paul Stam (R) Rm. 613, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-2962 Paul.Stam@ncleg.net

53 Harnett David R. Lewis (R) Rm. 533, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3015 David.Lewis@ncleg.net

38 Wake Deborah K. Ross (D) Rm. 2223, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5773 Deborah.Ross@ncleg.net

54 Chatham, Moore, Orange Joe Hackney (D) Rm. 2304, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-3451 Joe.Hackney@ncleg.net

39 Wake Darren G. Jackson (D) Rm. 301N, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5974 Darren.Jackson@ncleg.net

55 Durham, Person W. A. (Winkie) Wilkins (D) Rm. 1301, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-0850 Winkie.Wilkins@ncleg.net

40 Wake Marilyn Avila (R) Rm. 1017, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5530 Marilyn.Avila@ncleg.net

56 Orange Verla Insko (D) Rm. 307B1, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-7208 Verla.Insko@ncleg.net

41 Wake Chris Heagarty (D) Rm. 2121, 16 W. Jones Street 919-733-5602 Chris.Heagarty@ncleg.net

57 Guilford Pricey Harrison (D) Rm. 2119, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5771 Pricey.Harrison@ncleg.net

42 Cumberland Marvin W. Lucas (D) Rm. 417A, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5775 Marvin.Lucas@ncleg.net

58 Guilford Alma Adams (D) Rm. 304, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5902 Alma.Adams@ncleg.net

43 Cumberland Elmer Floyd (D) Rm. 1311, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5959 Elmer.Floyd@ncleg.net

59 Guilford Maggie Jeffus (D) Rm. 2204, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5191 Maggie.Jeffus@ncleg.net

44 Cumberland Diane Parfitt Rm. 2221, 16 W. Jones Street 919-733-9892

60 Guilford Earl Jones (D) Rm. 536, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5825 Earl.Jones@ncleg.net

70 Randolph Pat B. Hurley (R) Rm. 607, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5865 Pat.Hurley@ncleg.net

61 Guilford Laura I. Wiley (R) Rm. 513, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5877 Laura.Wiley@ncleg.net

71 Forsyth Larry Womble (D) Rm. 534, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5777 Larry.Womble@ncleg.net

62 Guilford John M. Blust (R) Rm. 1109, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5781 John.Blust@ncleg.net

72 Forsyth Earline W. Parmon (D) Rm. 541, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5829 Earline.Parmon@ncleg.net

For additional information on finding your legislator by county or to see how they vote, please visit

civitasaction.org 63 Alamance Alice L. Bordsen (D) Rm. 530, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5820 Alice.Bordsen@ncleg.net 64 Alamance Dan W. Ingle (R) Rm. 1019, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5905 Dan.Ingle@ncleg.net 65 Rockingham Nelson Cole (D) Rm. 1218, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5779 Nelson.Cole@ncleg.net 66 Montgomery, Richmond Melanie Wade Goodwin (D) Rm. 1307, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5823 Melanie.Goodwin@ncleg.net 67 Montgomery, Stanly, Union Justin P. Burr (R) Rm. 1315, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5908 Justin.Burr@ncleg.net 68 Union Curtis Blackwood (R) Rm. 1317, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-2406 Curtis.Blackwood@ncleg.net 69 Anson, Union Pryor Gibson (D) Rm. 419A, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3007 Pryor.Gibson@ncleg.net

73 Davidson, Forsyth Larry R. Brown (R) Rm. 609, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5607 Larry.Brown@ncleg.net 74 Forsyth Dale R. Folwell (R) Rm. 306A1, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5787 Dale.Folwell@ncleg.net 75 Forsyth Wm. C. “Bill” McGee (R) Rm. 531, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5747 William.McGee@ncleg.net 76 Rowan Fred F. Steen, II (R) Rm. 514, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5881 Fred.Steen@ncleg.net 77 Rowan Lorene Coates (D) Rm. 633, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5784 Lorene.Coates@ncleg.net

WHY WE GIVE PARTY AFFILIATIONS: The Legislature is managed as a partisan institution. Lawmakers segregate themselves by party in matters from daily meetings to electing leaders. They have separate and taxpayer-financed staffs. As such, gaining a full understanding of the vote of an individual lawmaker requires knowing his or her partisan affiliation.


nccivitas.org

Civitas

CAPITOL CONNECTION

78 Randolph Harold J. Brubaker (R) Rm. 1229, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-4946 Harold.Brubaker@ncleg.net

92 Iredell, Surry, Yadkin Darrell G. McCormick (R) Rm. 1211, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5654 Darrell.McCormick@ncleg.net

109 Gaston William A. Current, Sr. (R) Rm. 418A, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5809 Bill.Current@ncleg.net

79 Davie, Iredell Julia C. Howard (R) Rm. 1106, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5904 Julia.Howard@ncleg.net

93 Ashe, Watauga Cullie M. Tarleton (D) Rm. 2221, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-7727 Cullie.Tarleton@ncleg.net

110 Cleveland, Gaston Pearl Burris-Floyd (R) Rm. 1319, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-2002 Pearl.Burris-Floyd@ncleg.net

80 Davidson Jerry C. Dockham (R) Rm. 1213, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-2526 Jerry.Dockham@ncleg.net

94 Wilkes Shirley B. Randleman (R) Rm. 1025, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5935 Shirley.Randleman@ncleg.net

111 Cleveland Tim Moore (R) Rm. 604, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-4838 Tim.Moore@ncleg.net

81 Davidson Hugh Holliman (D) Rm. 2301, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-0873 Hugh.Holliman@ncleg.net

95 Iredell Grey Mills (R) Rm. 1111, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5741 Grey.Mills@ncleg.net

112 Cleveland, Rutherford Bob England, M.D. (D) Rm. 303, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5749 Bob.England@ncleg.net

82 Cabarrus Jeff Barnhart (R) Rm. 608, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-2009 Jeff.Barnhart@ncleg.net

96 Catawba Mark K. Hilton (R) Rm. 1021, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5988 Mark.Hilton@ncleg.net

This legislative directory provides legislative phone number and legislative address. Jones St. zip code is 27601. The Salisbury St. zip code is 27603. 83 Cabarrus Linda P. Johnson (R) Rm. 1006, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5861 Linda.Johnson2@ncleg.net 84 Avery, Caldwell, Mitchell, Yancey Phillip Frye (R) Rm. 602, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5661 Phillip.Frye@ncleg.net 85 Burke, McDowell Mitch Gillespie (R) Rm. 1008, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5862 Mitchg@ncleg.net 86 Burke Hugh Blackwell (R) Rm. 606, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5805 Hugh.Blackwell@ncleg.net 87 Caldwell Edgar V. Starnes (R) Rm. 503, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5931 Edgar.Starnes@ncleg.net 88 Alexander, Catawba Ray Warren (D) Rm. 306C, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-8361 Ray.Warren@ncleg.net 89 Catawba, Iredell Mitchell S. Setzer (R) Rm. 1204, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-4948 Mitchell.Setzer@ncleg.net 90 Alleghany, Surry Sarah Stevens (R) Rm. 509, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-1883 Sarah.Stevens@ncleg.net 91 Rockingham, Stokes Bryan R. Holloway (R) Rm. 502, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5609 Bryan.Holloway@ncleg.net

4 Bertie, Chowan, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton, Perquimans W. Edward Jones (D) Rm. 623, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3032 Edward.Jones@ncleg.net

July 2010

7

19 Bladen, Cumberland Margaret Highsmith Dickson (D) Rm. 300C, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5776 Margaret.Dickson@ncleg.net

35 Mecklenburg, Union W. Edward Goodall, Jr. (R) Rm. 332, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-7659 Eddie.Goodall@ncleg.net

20 Durham Floyd B. McKissick, Jr. (D) Rm. 621, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-4599 Floyd.McKissick@ncleg.net

36 Cabarrus, Iredell Fletcher L. Hartsell, Jr. (R) Rm. 518, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-7223 Fletcher.Hartsell@ncleg.net

21 Cumberland Larry Shaw (D) Rm. 311, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-9349 Larry.Shaw@ncleg.net

37 Mecklenburg Daniel G. Clodfelter (D) Rm. 408, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-8331 Daniel.Clodfelter@ncleg.net

5 Greene, Pitt, Wayne Donald Davis (D) Rm. 525, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5621 Don.Davis@ncleg.net

22 Harnett, Moore Harris Blake (R) Rm. 517, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-4809 Harris.Blake@ncleg.net

38 Mecklenburg Charlie Smith Dannelly (D) Rm. 2010, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5955 Charlie.Dannelly@ncleg.net

113 Henderson, Polk, Transylvania W. David Guice (R) Rm. 1015, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-4466 David.Guice@ncleg.net

6 Jones, Onslow Harry Brown (R) Rm. 521, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3034 Harry.Brown@ncleg.net

23 Orange, Person Eleanor Kinnaird (D) Rm. 2115, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5804 Ellie.Kinnaird@ncleg.net

39 Mecklenburg Bob Rucho (R) Rm. 1118, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5655 Bob.Rucho@ncleg.net

97 Lincoln Johnathan Rhyne, Jr. (R) Rm. 1323, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5782 Johnathan.Rhyne@ncleg.net

114 Buncombe Susan C. Fisher (D) Rm. 420, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-2013 Susan.Fisher@ncleg.net

24 Alamance, Caswell Anthony E. Foriest (D) Rm. 411, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-301-1446 Tony.Foriest@ncleg.net

40 Mecklenburg Malcolm Graham (D) Rm. 620, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5650 Malcolm.Graham@ncleg.net

98 Mecklenburg Thom Tillis (R) Rm. 1002, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5828 Thom.Tillis@ncleg.net

115 Buncombe Bruce Goforth (D) Rm. 1220, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5746 Bruce.Goforth@ncleg.net

7 Franklin, Granville, Vance, Warren Doug Berger (D) Rm. 526, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-8363 Doug.Berger@ncleg.net

116 Buncombe Jane Whilden (D) Rm. 1303, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-3012 Jane.Whilden@ncleg.net

25 Anson, Richmond, Scotland, Stanly William R. Purcell (D) Rm. 625, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5953 William.Purcell@ncleg.net

41 Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln James Forrester (R) Rm. 1129, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-3050 James.Forrester@ncleg.net

99 Mecklenburg Nick Mackey (D) Rm. 403, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5606 Nick.Mackey@ncleg.net

8 Brunswick, Columbus, Pender R. C. Soles, Jr. (D) Rm. 2022, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5963 RC.Soles@ncleg.net

100 Mecklenburg Tricia Ann Cotham (D) Rm. 418C, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-0706 Tricia.Cotham@ncleg.net

117 Henderson Carolyn K. Justus (R) Rm. 1023, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5956 Carolyn.Justus@ncleg.net

9 New Hanover Julia Boseman (D) Rm. 309, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-2525 Julia.Boseman@ncleg.net

26 Guilford, Rockingham Philip Edward Berger (R) Rm. 1026, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5708 Phil.Berger@ncleg.net

101 Mecklenburg Beverly M. Earle (D) Rm. 634, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-2530 Beverly.Earle@ncleg.net

118 Haywood, Madison, Yancey Ray Rapp (D) Rm. 2213, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5732 Ray.Rapp@ncleg.net

10 Duplin, Lenoir, Sampson Charles W. Albertson (D) Rm. 523, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5705 Charlie.Albertson@ncleg.net

27 Guilford Don Vaughan (D) Rm. 622, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5856 Don.Vaughan@ncleg.net

102 Mecklenburg Becky Carney (D) Rm. 1221, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5827 Becky.Carney@ncleg.net

119 Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain R. Phillip Haire (D) Rm. 639, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3005 Phillip.Haire@ncleg.net

11 Nash, Wilson A. B. Swindell (D) Rm. 629, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3030 AB.Swindell@ncleg.net

28 Guilford Katie G. Dorsett (D) Rm. 2106, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-3042 Katie.Dorsett@ncleg.net

12 Johnston, Wayne David Rouzer (R) Rm. 520, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5748 David.Rouzer@ncleg.net

29 Montgomery, Randolph Jerry W. Tillman (R) Rm. 628, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5870 Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net

45 Alexander, Ashe, Watauga, Wilkes Steve Goss (D) Rm. 1028, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5742 Steve.Goss@ncleg.net

13 Robeson, Hoke Michael Walters (D) Rm. 2115, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5651 Michael.Walters@ncleg.net

30 Alleghany, Stokes, Surry, Yadkin Don W. East (R) Rm. 1120, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5743 Don.East@ncleg.net

46 Cleveland, Rutherford Debbie A. Clary (R) Rm. 515, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3038 Debbie.Clary@ncleg.net

14 Wake Daniel T. Blue, Jr. (D) Rm. 314, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5752 Dan.Blue@ncleg.net

31 Forsyth Peter S. Brunstetter (R) Rm. 522, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-7850 Peter.Brunstetter@ncleg.net

15 Wake Neal Hunt (R) Rm. 1102, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5850 Neal.Hunt@ncleg.net

32 Forsyth Linda Garrou (D) Rm. 627, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5620 Linda.Garrou@ncleg.net

47 Avery, Haywood, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Yancey Joe Sam Queen (D) Rm. 1117, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-3460 JoeSam.Queen@ncleg.net

16 Wake Joshua H. Stein (D) Rm. 410, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-6400 Josh.Stein@ncleg.net

33 Davidson, Guilford Stan Bingham (R) Rm. 2117, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5665 Stan.Bingham@ncleg.net

17 Wake Richard Y. Stevens (R) Rm. 406, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5653 Richard.Stevens@ncleg.net

34 Davie, Rowan Andrew C. Brock (R) Rm. 1119, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-0690 Andrew.Brock@ncleg.net

103 Mecklenburg Jim Gulley (R) Rm. 1313, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5800 Jim.Gulley@ncleg.net 104 Mecklenburg Ruth Samuelson (R) Rm. 418B, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3009 Ruth.Samuelson@ncleg.net

120 Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Macon Roger West (R) Rm. 1004, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5859 Roger.West@ncleg.net

Senate

105 Mecklenburg Ric Killian (R) Rm. 1010, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5886 Ric.Killian@ncleg.net

1 Beaufort, Camden, Currituck, Dare, Hyde, Pasquotank, Tyrrell, Washington Marc Basnight (D) Rm. 2007, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-6854 Marc.Basnight@ncleg.net

106 Mecklenburg Martha B. Alexander (D) Rm. 2208, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5807 Martha.Alexander@ncleg.net

2 Carteret, Craven, Pamlico Jean R. Preston (R) Rm. 1121, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5706 Jean.Preston@ncleg.net

107 Mecklenburg Kelly M. Alexander, Jr. (D) Rm. 632, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5778 Kelly.Alexander@ncleg.net

3 Edgecombe, Martin, Pitt S. Clark Jenkins (D) Rm. 308, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3040 Clark.Jenkins@ncleg.net

108 Gaston Wil Neumann (R) Rm. 510, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5868 Wil.Neumann@ncleg.net

For additional information on finding your legislator by county or to see how they vote, please visit

civitasaction.org

18 Chatham, Durham, Lee Robert Atwater (D) Rm. 312, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3036 Bob.Atwater@ncleg.net

42 Catawba, Iredell Austin M. Allran (R) Rm. 516, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5876 Austin.Allran@ncleg.net 43 Gaston David W. Hoyle (D) Rm. 300-A, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-733-5734 David.Hoyle@ncleg.net 44 Burke, Caldwell Jimmy R. Jacumin (R) Rm. 1113, 16 West Jones St. 919-715-7823 Jim.Jacumin@ncleg.net

48 Buncombe, Henderson, Polk Tom M. Apodaca (R) Rm. 1127, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5745 Tom.Apodaca@ncleg.net 49 Buncombe Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. (D) Rm. 300-B, 300 N. Salisbury St. 919-715-3001 Martin.Nesbitt@ncleg.net 50 Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain, Transylvania John J. Snow, Jr. (D) Rm. 2111, 16 West Jones St. 919-733-5875 John.Snow@ncleg.net


8

July 2010

Forecast

CAPITOL CONNECTION

Civitas

CONTINUED FROM PG 1

nccivitas.org

F R O M T H E E D I T O R

Projected Budget Gap for 2010-11 State Budgets West Virginia 3.5% Kentucky 9.1%

Virginia 8.2%

Tennessee 10.0%

Campaigns Looming while Lawmakers Pass 2010 Budget BY JANA BENSCOTER

North Carolina 30.5% South Carolina 22.6%

Mississippi 14.6%

Alabama 8.2%

Georgia 24.3%

Louisiana 11.1%

Alabama Florida Georgia Kentucky Louisiana

8.2% 22.2% 24.3% 9.1% 11.1%

Mississippi North Carolina South Carolina Tennessee Virginia West Virginia

14.6% 30.5% 22.6% 10.0% 8.2% 3.5%

Florida 22.2%

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Furthermore, North Carolina has already borrowed nearly $2.5 billion from the federal government to cover unemployment benefits and is on pace to borrow a total of $3.5 billion by the end of this calendar year. While there is no re-payment plan yet in place for the principal of the loan, the state is expected to begin making interest payments in 2011 that could total $153 million. Another consideration will be the increasing cost of health benefits being provided to state retirees. If recent growth trends continue, we should expect an additional $40 million in taxpayer money will be needed to pay for growing retiree health care costs next year.

Added together, the revenue hole and growing state employee and retiree benefits create a massive budget gap of roughly $3.5 billion for the 2010-11 state budget. And this doesn’t even factor in rising costs of Medicaid, education or transportation that will certainly continue to add on to the budget’s size. While many state lawmakers may be patting themselves on the back because they managed to balance this year’s difficult budget, their shortsighted reliance on short-term revenue sources and failure to reign in massive spending obligations is setting the state up for an even deeper budget crisis next year.

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Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, Democratic candidate for US Senate, showed up at a fundraising event that was held at the N.C. Democratic Party headquarters on Hillsborough Street the day before the state budget was passed. Marshall told a newspaper reporter before entering she didn’t realize lobbyisis would be there for the event. Photo: Jana Benscoter

T

rying to stay out of the political graveyard, North Carolina lawmakers decided to keep the short session as short as possible by approving the $20.6 billion state spending plan on the last day of the 2010-11 fiscal year. Not surprisingly, without any major tax increases like in 2009. Legislators haven’t had a budget balanced by the start of the fiscal year since 2003. By law, legislators are supposed to have the plan in place July 1. Normally, state officials continue into the dog days of summer hammering out details fighting over whether or not to increase taxes, impose new fines and fees, create or cut jobs, or design new regulations among a gamut of items. Unlike previous budget negotiations, current lawmakers are starting to feel the heat of the economic fire the general public has been experiencing. While public jobs are growing at a much faster clip than private jobs, North Carolina’s unemployment rate stands at 10.3 percent and ranks 14th highest in the country (Bureau of Labor Statistics). For 2011, our budget gap is projected to be at 30.5 percent of the budget, the highest in the Southeast. The current spending plan approved by both chambers on June 30, which includes federal dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is $20.6 billion. Don’t let the numbers fool you. The page 1 article, “State Budget Passes: Spending Grows, as Unemployment Remains High,” breaks down where the money is going and how the budget gap was filled this year. While lawmakers say cuts are being implemented to balance the budget - genuine reform was again not enacted during this legislative session. The choices made this summer only delay the day of reckoning until the long session next year. One would hope that this session wouldn’t be business as usual – workingtoward self preservation and mid-term elections. However, nothing betweenMay 12, when the short session began, and mid July, when it ended, revealed otherwise. Now that the budget is finalized for the 2010 session, legislators can fully turn their attention to running their general election campaigns. The state budget was not even finished when numerous elected representatives and state officials held a fundraiser at the Democratic Party Headquarters on Hillsborough Street on June 29. Not only were elected officials in attendance, but also lobbyists. Clearly, it didn’t take too long before some of our leaders turned the attention right back on themselves, instead of thinking about taxpayers. The budget for 2010-11 was passed the next day on June 30. In a June 2010 Civitas Poll, when respondents were asked: “when you think about voting for a member of the State Legislature, what issue or problem should be the highest priority,” the number one answer was economy and jobs at 34 percent. Behind it was improving public education at 15 percent, budget and spending at 13 percent, illegal immigration at 8 percent, reducing health care costs at 7 percent, holding down taxes and government corruption tied at 6 percent, moral issues at 5 percent and 3 percent said they were not sure or other. Unfortunately for the citizens of North Carolina, the General Assembly will return home to campaign and have done little to address voters’ concerns on any of these issues. w


Civitas Capitol Connection July 2010