• Research Report

    Crisis or Opportunity? Closing Budget Gap Means Rethinking State Role

    posted January 17, 2001 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    Gov. Mike Easley and the General Assembly face half-billion-dollar budget deficits (at least) for FY 2000-01 and FY 2001-02. But the problem need not become a crisis. State leaders now have an opportunity to restructure government programs and rethink state responsibilities. Budget savings previously recommended by Locke analysts would yield nearly $600 million this year and $743 million next year enough to close the gap without raising taxes or increasing state debt.
  • Research Report

    It’s Spending, Not Taxes Lawmakers, Media Misstating Cause of Budget Gap

    posted January 13, 2001 by Jon Sanders, John Hood
    North Carolina's 1999-2001 budget cycle presents state lawmakers and the Hunt administration with a fiscal challenge — planned spending increases exceed predicted revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars. Some lawmakers and the news media have blamed four years of tax cuts and recent court decisions. This is misleading. By far the biggest cause of the problem was excessive spending growth during much of the 1990s. If state leaders had exercised even modest spending restraint, there would be no fiscal challenge awaiting the state this year.
  • Research Report

    Enabling the Disabled: Establishing a State Policy for North Carolina’s Disabled Citizens

    posted December 31, 2000 by John Hood
    Health and human services has become an important government responsibility, second only to education in terms of budget authorization. The disability services system, which serves North Carolina's mentally and physically disabled, receives approximately 17 percent of the funds of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), for a total of $1.25 billion in fiscal 1996. By N.N. Fullwood, Ph.D.
  • Research Report

    Robin Hood In Reverse: State Lottery for College Aid Would Be Unfair

    posted January 16, 1999 by John Hood
    As state leaders debate yet another proposal for a state lottery this year, they should consider the equity issues raised by using proceeds to fund college scholarships, as done in Georgia and proposed in previous N.C. bills. The family income of freshmen entering a UNC system school averaged $55,000 in 1997, while the median income of UNC-Chapel Hill freshmen was about $75,000.1 By comparison, if a North Carolina lottery follows Virginia's pattern of participation, the median household income of lottery players would be only $29,000.2

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