Monday numbers: A closer look at some key facts about the state budget

Monday numbers: A closer look at some key facts about the state budget

The North Carolina state Senate passed its version of a new two-year budget last week and is now in negotiations with the House in anticipation of sending a final version to Gov. Cooper in the near future. The Governor will have 10 days to approve or reject the proposal. If, as expected, Cooper vetoes the bill, it will take a 3/5 vote in each house to override the veto. Here are some key numbers to keep in mind in the coming days:

28 – Number of days left in Fiscal Year 2019

$23.9 billion and $24.6 billion – Amount of General Fund dollars the Senate proposes to spend in in the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years (Source:

9.23 million – North Carolina’s population in 2008 (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)

10.38 million – North Carolina’s population in 2018 (ibid.)

-5.5% – The inflation-adjusted decline in state spending the 2021 Senate proposal represents when compared to the state’s pre-Great Recession budget (“Four important ways in which the Senate budget proposal comes up short,” N.C. Budget & Tax Center)

4.84% – Percentage of the state’s economy (i.e. the optimal measurement of the state’s ability to pay for core public structures and services) that the Senate budget proposal represents (ibid.)

5.9% – Average percentage over the last 45 years (ibid.)

Well over 6% – Average percentage during the 36 years that preceded the GOP assuming control of the General Assembly in 2011 (ibid.)

45th – Out of the last 45 years, where the Senate proposal ranks (ibid.)

-18% – Effective decline in state spending the Senate proposal represents vs. the 45 year average (ibid.)

$3.6 billion – Amount of additional funds in budget availability state lawmakers would have at their disposal if lawmakers had not enacted a series of tax cuts primarily benefiting profitable corporations and the rich and the state tax code had simply been left where it was in 2013 (Source: “NC tax cuts failed to boost economy,” N.C. Budget & Tax Center, May 2019)

5th – Where North Carolina ranked in 2013 in both Site Selection and Area Development magazines in rankings for top states for doing business (Sources: “Top 10 Competitive States of 2013,” Site Selection magazine and “Top States for Doing Business 2013,” Area Development magazine.)

$8.7 million – Amount of additional funds that the Senate would add to the K-12 education budget to hire 115 school psychologists (Source: “Senate education budget is a dereliction of duty,” The Progressive Pulse, 5/30/2019)

$655 million – Estimated amount that North Carolina needs to increase spending on instructional support for K-12 schools to meet industry standards (ibid.)

-42% – Amount below pre-Recession level that state text book funding remains even if the Senate’s proposed increase of $15 million becomes effective (ibid.)

-782 – Decline in the number of teachers budgeted for vs. pre-Recession level (ibid.)

-8,430 – Decline in the number of teacher assistants budgeted for vs. pre-Recession level (ibid.)

42nd – North Carolina’s national ranking in “school funding effort” even prior to the Great Recession (ibid.)

9.5% and 9.4% – Amount of their household incomes, respectively, that poor and middle income North Carolinians currently pay in state and local taxes combined (Source: “Who Pays?” Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy)

6.4% – Amount the wealthiest 1% of households pay (ibid.)

500,000+ – Number of North Carolinians who could benefit if the state were to close the health insurance coverage gap by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act as recommended by Gov. Cooper

37 – Number of states (including the District of Columbia) that have taken this action (Source: “Status of State Action on the Medicaid Expansion Decision,” Kaiser Family Foundation)

0 – Number of provisions in either the Senate or House budgets providing for such action

Thousands – Number of North Carolinians who have suffered and/or died prematurely over the last several years as a result of the refusal of Republican leaders in the General Assembly to expand Medicaid (Source: “By not expanding Medicaid, legislators fail those who most need their help,”, January 2018)

22 – Number of sites across North Carolina at which people will gather this Wednesday, June 5 to hold candlelight vigils to remember and honor the people who have suffered or died because they were uninsured (Click here for more information and the site nearest you)