Tuesday, May 3, 2011

NC House budget is return to fiscal responsibility: House Speaker Thom Tillis

Verne Strickland Blogmaster

May 3, 2011 in NCGOP7 News

From the Office of the Speaker  May 2, 2011

Raleigh – “House Republican leaders held a press conference this afternoon (May 02)  to highlight their proposed budget to be voted on in this week.  House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) said the budget represents a return to fiscal responsibility and is critical to North Carolina’s long-term economic sustainability.

“This budget confronts North Carolina’s fiscal problems in a responsible, sustainable way,” Tillis said.  “It brings government expenses into line with state revenues, ends the practice of taxing our citizens to pay for state government’s appetite for spending, and restores over a billion dollars into the private sector to help create jobs.”
Rep. Harold Brubaker (R-Randolph), the House Appropriations Chair, said the budget includes intelligent spending reductions for state agencies that will reverse the trend of ever-expanding state government, with great benefits to North Carolina taxpayers.

“This budget is one of the largest tax cuts in state history,” said Brubaker.  “By allowing certain taxes to expire, we will provide more than a billion dollars to the private sector.  We believe private businesses and individuals use their own money more effectively than state government.”

Brubaker also commented on specific proposals in the budget, including the funding of every teaching position in the state and giving local control to school boards and Superintendents, rather than directing spending from Raleigh.

“As a rule, all areas of government experienced spending reductions that were accomplished through streamlining administration and operating costs whenever possible,” Brubaker said.  “When positions had to be eliminated, we made sure the majority of those positions were vacant ones, to hold as many individuals harmless as we possibly could.”

Republicans commented on the transparency that has accompanied this budget from day one.  “This is the most transparent budget process in recent memory,” Tillis said.  All subcommittee documents and reports on the budget were posted online, and the budget has been available in its entirety online for five days before any budget votes have been taken on the House floor.

Republicans pointed out that they did not create the budget crisis they inherited when they were elected in November.  “The bottom line is that for decades, politicians in Raleigh have raised taxes and increased spending, and that formula hasn’t worked,” Tillis said.

“It’s time we give the private sector a chance and tighten the belt of state government.  We need a fundamental change in the way state government approaches the economy and job creation, and this budget does just that,” he asserted.

Finally, Tillis addressed the claims that some have made concerning potential job losses incurred in this budget.  “Some voices in state government have floated hypothetical, inflated job loss numbers,” he said.

“These numbers are just that:  hypothetical," Tillis continued. "Based on countless conversations with outside experts and internal non-partisan fiscal research staff, we are convinced that this budget is a job creator, period.”