by Brenée Goforth
Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
This week, Becki Gray, Vice President of the John Locke Foundation published an opinion piece in Carolina Journal. Her piece focused on what the state is leaving unfunded every day it does not have a budget resolution. Here is a list of some measures that are included in the proposed budget but are not currently being funded due to the lack of a gubernatorial signature:
There’s $91 million in the budget for school–safety measures, most of which would go toward hiring new student resource officers and mental health professionals to ensure our schools are safe places to learn and to work.
According to Attorney General Josh Stein, as of May, North Carolina has a backlog of 15,000 untested rape kits, the highest in the country. Some are decades old. There’s $6 million in the budget to test rape kits, which Stein believes would eliminate the backlog. There are victims waiting for justice, survivors looking for closure, and rapists on the streets. Stein says 30–year–old sexual assault cases have been solved with recent rape kit testing. But the money to test the rest of the kits is held up in the budget.
The budget plan allocates $18.5 million in additional hurricane recovery money to help families get their lives back together, get their homes repaired, get businesses back on their feet, and get water and sewer systems, as well as roads, dependable again.
These are very worthy causes which deserve funding quickly, but according to Gray:
Without a full budget, stand-alone bills to fund time–sensitive and broadly agreed upon spending is a piecemeal approach to funding the state’s priorities, and still subject to the veto stamp.
Gray calls for an end to the budget impasse and hopes these measures will get funding swiftly.