posted May 30, 2005 by Joseph Coletti
Under the Senate’s proposed budget, real spending in the state will grow as quickly over the three years through fiscal year 2007, 13.2 percent, as it did in the three years through FY 2001. The late 1990s benefited from rapid economic growth that allowed the state to cut taxes while spending more. Gov. Mike Easley raised taxes to cover expenses while slowing growth to 0.2 percent in real terms through FY2003-04. Since then, the higher taxes have paid for renewed spending growth. Medicaid spending has expanded more rapidly than education or correction and is accelerating. Growth is faster still outside this core.