One of my opponent’s main campaign issues is that we need to balance the North Carolina budget.
We do not (and cannot) have an unbalanced budget.
The North Carolina Constitution already requires us to have a balanced budget.
The topic of balanced budgets is a hot one on the federal level, and any good conservative worth their salt should be concerned about fiscal responsibility and balancing the budget. But does North Carolina have an unbalanced budget?
In North Carolina, we not only have a Constitutional requirement for a balanced budget, but the responsibility to ensure that the budget is balanced falls to the Governor.
Article III Section 5 Clause 2 of the North Carolina State Constitution reads:
ARTICLE III EXECUTIVE
Sec. 5. Duties of Governor.
(3) Budget. The Governor shall prepare and recommend to the General Assembly a comprehensive budget of the anticipated revenue and proposed expenditures of the State for the ensuing fiscal period. The budget as enacted by the General Assembly shall be administered by the Governor.
The total expenditures of the State for the fiscal period covered by the budget shall not exceed the total of receipts during that fiscal period and the surplus remaining in the State Treasury at the beginning of the period.
The Balanced Budget Amendment was sponsored by Rep. John Gamble of Lincoln County, and adopted as part of the North Carolina Constitution in 1977. Prior to that, a balanced budget was required in the State of North Carolina by statute, via the Executive Budget Act passed in 1925. The State Law requiring a Balanced budget can be found in §143C-4-1 – Annual Balanced Budget.
Furthermore, §159-8 of the North Carolina General Statutes require that all local governments (Counties and Municipalities) adopt balanced budgets, a State Law which County Commissioners are required to operate under as a part of their duties.
The budget is recommended by the Governor and then enacted by the General Assembly, and then administered by the Governor. North Carolina is not allowed to have an unbalanced budget. If the budget is not balanced, then the government shuts down. If a County does not have a balanced budget, then the County government shuts down.
When the General Assembly entered into the 2011-2012 session, we were $6.4 Billion dollars in deficit. It was all over the news that we faced a Constitutional crisis, and our first duty in the Legislature was to eliminate that deficit or the government would come crashing to a halt.
As a member of the Committee on General Government, and as Vice Chair of the Committee on Agriculture, Glen Bradley helped to cut more than $3 Billion dollars in spending, keeping the government solvent and operational.
Unbalanced budgets are not possible in North Carolina. They have not been possible since 1925.