• John Locke Update

    Cooper’s educator bonus proposal is politics, not prudence

    posted February 15, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    In the end, Gov. Cooper’s supplemental budget recommendations signal his affinity for the education establishment, disregarding long-standing infrastructure needs and supporting antiquated employee compensation practices that do little to improve the overall quality of education in North Carolina.
  • John Locke Update

    Now is not the time for new programs or debt

    posted January 27, 2021 by Joseph Coletti
    An uncertain economic time is not good for borrowing. If the state takes out debt and the post-COVID economy turns out to be smaller, then debt capacity will shrink and the debt will end up taking more from other priorities. If the economy recovers quickly, then the state would have more money available for capital anyway.
  • John Locke Update

    State revenue picture continues to improve

    posted November 23, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    North Carolina state government continued to have strong finances seven months after the economy first began to slow in March. Budget writers should nevertheless be cautious about adding spending commitments, however.
  • John Locke Update

    Cautiously Optimistic FY 2021 Budget Update

    posted September 17, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    Just before Labor Day, Gov. Roy Cooper signed the final bill appropriating money from North Carolina’s $3.6 billion share of the Coronavirus Trust Fund. He was clearly under duress. A veto of the bill that passed with large bipartisan majorities would surely have been overridden.
  • John Locke Update

    State budget review and preview

    posted August 26, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    Lacking any guidance from Congress on the Coronavirus Relief Fund question, budget decisions will continue to be made in a fog of uncertainty. It underscores the need for even more spending restraint than the General Assembly has demonstrated since 2011.
  • John Locke Update

    The NCDOT budget is full of cracks, potholes, and detours

    posted June 29, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has long had the worst budget in state government. The agency receives appropriations in a year, counts each dollar based on general purposes,…
  • John Locke Update

    Cooper’s state budget gambit is reckless

    posted June 15, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    Gov. Cooper’s risky bet to keep spending like it’s 2019, despite a $1.6 billion loss of revenue between March and the end of June, is reckless and irresponsible with…
  • John Locke Update

    Cooper’s bad budget bets

    posted June 3, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    Gov. Roy Cooper is either the worst gambler around, or his first term has been a classic example of a hustle. He placed big, losing bets on his vetoes of…
  • John Locke Update

    Health Policy at the General Assembly: 2019 in Review

    posted January 15, 2020 by Jordan Roberts
    It was a tumultuous year for lawmakers in the General Assembly. Lasting well into October, this ‘long session’ was unusually long compared to years past. As will be the…

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