Wednesday, June 1, 2011

House and Senate Work Together to Avoid Governor's Veto of Budget Proposal

There is certainly one clear, common denominator in the newly proposed Senate budget: CUTS.

Nearly every program and institution in the state of North Carolina will be subject to increased cuts in funding for the next fiscal year.

Budget Writers of the North Carolina House and Senate worked hard over the holiday weekend to propose a budget they believe is enough of a compromise to avoid a Governor sponsored veto.

On Friday Governor Perdue made it clear that she was not in support of the newly proposed budget. She made over 12 specific objections to the proposed budget by putting "proposed education cuts at the center of her opposition" to the newly proposed budget. PerdueOpposition

The Independent Living Program will remain intact but will receive a substantial decrease in funding of 9%.  The language in the proposed budget proclaims that "services will continue to be prioritized so as to avoid institutional care".  However, this means that certain "less important" services will need to be cut in order to operate with 9% less funding from the State. 

Also, there is a minimum set on the amount of budget savings that must be achieved by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  If this minimum is not met then the DHHS is to "undertake whatever actions necessary" in order to achieve the proposed savings.  This includes "eliminating or reducing the level or duration of optional Medicaid services".  Such services are an integral part of many peoples lives.  They include: physical therapy, speech, hearing and language therapy, occupational therapy, optometrists' services and eyeglasses, and private duty nurses.  Optional Services Removed?
Leaders stated that they plan to have a compromise budget fully intact for the Governor by the end of the weekend following votes in the Senate today and tomorrow.  The N.C. chapters of the National MS Society represent one of several organizations that have banded together to send a letter to Gov. Perdue asking her to veto the proposed budget which could have detrimental effects to those in need in N.C.  Gov's Letter  
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