Monday numbers: More details on the GOP budget sent to Gov. Cooper last Friday

Monday numbers: More details on the GOP budget sent to Gov. Cooper last Friday

10 – The number of consecutive years that North Carolina General Fund spending has declined when measured as a percentage of total state personal income (i.e. the best measurement of our ability to afford public investments). “It’s official: Legislature’s new budget marks TEN consecutive years of declining state investments,” by Luis Toledo, NC Budget and Tax Center.

5 – Percentage of total state personal income dedicated to the proposed $23.9 billion budget. Ibid.

6 – Average percentage of total state personal income that North Carolina has dedicated to the budget over the last 45 years. Ibid.

$4+ billion – Additional amount that state lawmakers would have to spend on public services and structures if the budget merely spent at the 45 year average rate of 6%. Ibid.

0.6 – Percentage that state spending on K-12 education rises in the General Assembly’s 2019 budget “Legislature’s education budget highlights continued under-investment in public schools,” by Kris Nordstom, NC Justice Center’s Education & Law Project.

18 out of 24 – Number of largest education spending allotments that remain below where they were a decade ago when adjusted for inflation and student growth. Ibid.

$644 million – Amount by which North Carolina needs to increase annual spending on school nurses, counselors, psychologists, social workers and librarians to meet recommended industry standards. Ibid.

$10 million – Amount the proposed state budget allots (for one year only). Ibid.

100 – Percentage of lower-paid school employees (e.g. teacher assistants and custodians) who will be excluded from the budget’s much-touted proposal to raise the state employee minimum salary to $31,200. Ibid.

807 – Number of new state budget-funded positions called for in Governor Cooper’s proposed budget to help state agencies carry out their missions, meet standardized workforce formulas and support new legislation. “Re: State Govt Employees – Legislature misses opportunity to align state staffing with priorities,” by Luis Toledo, N.C. Budget and Tax Center.

265 – Number provided for in budget passed by the General Assembly last week. Ibid.

58 – Number of positions the Governor proposed to add to the Department of Environmental Quality to help cope with the state’s myriad air and water pollution problems. Ibid.

0 – Number added by the General Assembly. Ibid.

30 – Number of positions the Governor recommended adding to the Division of Health Benefits to aid in the planned transformation of the Medicaid and Health Choice programs. Ibid.

0 – Number added by the General Assembly. Ibid.

112,000 – North Carolina’s estimated state government jobs deficit based on state’s current population. Ibid.

$35 million – Appropriations in the budget passed by the General Assembly last week that can rightfully be characterized as “pork.” “’Pork’ proliferates in the 2018-19 budget,” By Dr. Patrick McHugh, NC Budget and Tax Center.

167 – Number of individual “pork” line items. Ibid.

$250,000 – Amount appropriated (in apparent violation of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause that government may not appropriate funds to religious groups to support “religious uses”) to a group called Cross Trail Outfitters that describes its mission as “Guiding the next generation to Christ through the outdoors.” Senate Bill 99, page 72-73.

748 – Number of pages in the budget and accompanying “money report.” www.ncleg.net.

1 – Number of days after budget was unveiled on Memorial Day evening that votes on it commenced at the General Assembly. Ibid.

0 – Number of amendments that Republican leaders allowed members of the legislature to propose before the bill received final approval on June 1. Ibid.