The Coalition Budget Statement: February 1, 2011
The Coalition recognizes the significance of North Carolina’s difficult budget issues and the economic condition of our state. The individuals and families who rely upon the public mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse system for the basic services and supports necessary to live in communities have truly felt the effects of recession. All too often the impact has resulted in serious harm to the well being of these individuals.
Coalition members who provide these basic services and supports have had the triple impact of:
1. state and federal funding reductions
2. increases in the number of new people in need of services and supports
3. reduced ability to access other funding sources such as fundraising or credit markets.
The Coalition believes the services and supports provided all across North Carolina are critical to the well being of North Carolina citizens, and that the jobs needed to provide these services are part of the fabric of local communities.
We cannot solve this fiscal crisis with budget cuts alone. There must be a balanced approach of:
- creative methods of service provision
- budget reductions
- prioritizing services that avoid cost-shifting
Taking this balanced approach can lead to a better North Carolina for all our citizens. We want to work with the General Assembly and the Administration to develop solutions. As we work toward these solutions The Coalition will adhere to the following principles:
- Save jobs – cuts to services would increase unemployment in communities already hard-hit by recession.
- Seek business efficiencies – eliminate costly over-regulation and duplicative administrative functions which waste resources.
- Protect federal match – many services bring in funds from federal sources that stretch our resources to serve more people.
- Protect community services as the first priority – any reductions in community services must be paired with comparable reductions in state-operated healthcare facilities.
- If there are reductions in service funding they must be paired with a comparable reduction in administrative funding.