Gov. Roy Cooper recently released his proposed budget for the biennium 2017-2019, Common Ground Solutions for NC. The governor said he wants to focus on “invest[ing] in a better educated, healthier and more prosperous North Carolina without raising taxes or fees.” The plan contains no proposals to increase taxes or fees, nor does it deploy nonrecurring funds on recurring needs.
The $23.5 billion plan includes an additional $1.1 billion of spending over the current budget, reported USNews. Gov. Cooper defended this as “’catch up’ after years of neglect in education spending by GOP lawmakers.” The governor opined that the GOP had spent too much on income and corporate tax cuts, thus highlighting the main policy differences between the parties. Indeed, one republican lawmaker criticized the proposal as “reckless,” warning that the “$1 billion spending spree would surely return us to the days of high taxes and multi-billion dollar deficits.”