As of Jan. 31, state government had collected $12.1 billion in General Fund revenue and expended $11.2 billion on education, Medicaid and other state programs since the beginning of the 2015-16 fiscal year. In other words, it ran a cash surplus of about $900 million.
While state redistricting and national politics are getting most of the headlines right now, you can be sure that North Carolina politicos are well aware of the current budget numbers and their implications. The industries, vendors, and public employees who pocket most state expenditures are ramping up their lobbying efforts for the legislative session that begins in April. Incumbent lawmakers are drafting their own plans, both fiscal and political, for the coming election-year budget.
My advice remains the same as it was this time last year, when North Carolina’s fiscal situation seemed dire: don’t jump to conclusions.
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