• John Locke Update

    North Carolina Has More Covid Cash Than It Can Use

    posted May 21, 2021 by Joseph Coletti
    State government prioritized spending federal Covid money over knowing that the money is accomplishing a goal. Cooper and legislators have time to make future expenditures more accountable. With $13.6 billion in federal funds still available and the worst of the pandemic behind us, the best course is to return the money.
  • John Locke Update

    Cooper’s budget is just a Christmas list for cronies

    posted April 5, 2021 by Brian Balfour
    Cooper’s budget proposal is an unrealistic political document, not a serious budget plan. It would increase budgeted expenditures over the current year by 11.6 percent. The budget would direct hundreds of millions to cronies and “niceties” that are outside the core functions of state government.
  • John Locke Update

    Cooper’s education budget: following the money tells you a lot

    posted April 1, 2021 by Dr. Robert Luebke
    Cooper recommends 11 and 16 percent spending increases for K-12 public education for the next biennium, focusing on teacher and administrator pay increases, bonuses, hiring more staff and raising pay to $15/hour for noncertified staff.
  • 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,…

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