NC Senate Budget ProposalBy
Use this thread for all things budgety. The proposed Senate Budget does not include any tax reform details. Rumor has it that the poor and middle class will be paying more under the coming tax shift, while big corporations and the wealthiest pay less. Keep that context in mind as you read all of the spin. Also bear in mind that education and health care are two of the primary pathways out of poverty and for staying in the middle class. The Legislature will deal with raising taxes on the poor a little further down the road. Here are some bulleted budget points from various sources.
- Senate leaders released a $20.6 billion budget Sunday night
- overall education spending dropping when compared to the current year.
- paves the way for an effort to privatize [Medicaid], something the governor is already studying.
- Among the other proposed changes the Senate budget would make to Medicaid and health services are:
— cuts covered doctor visits on Medicaid from 22 per year to 10.
— raises co-pays for services.
— cuts private nursing services by $5 million.
— cuts mental health drugs by $5 million.
— cuts aids drug assistance by 25 percent, or $2 million. The budget also contains a provisions that would direct the state prisons to seek to use ADAP funding to pay for HIV drugs for those in the state prison system.
— closes the state’s three alcohol and drug abuse treatment centers, saving $37 million. In turn, the budget sets aside $10 million to pay for drug treatment services provided through regional mental health care agencies.
- includes a controversial provision that would require applicants for certain welfare programs to undergo drug testing.
- remove class-size caps for elementary school grades.
- would eliminate public “check off” funds that currently go to political parties.
- move the State Bureau of Investigation to a department the governor’s appointee controls
- reduce spaces in the public preschool for at-risk 4-year-olds by 2,500 in the first year of the budget and 5,000 in the second year, and turn them into subsidized childcare slots.
- dissolve the Clean Water Management Trust Fund
- close the Western Youth Facility in Morganton, a youth detention center, and cut 320 jobs.
- Operating funds for the nonprofit N.C. Rural Economic Development Center would be eliminated