State News

State budget approved hours before new fiscal year starts

Posted June 30, 2010
Updated July 11, 2010

— The North Carolina General Assembly gave final approval Wednesday afternoon to a $19 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that starts Thursday, and Gov. Beverly Perdue signed the budget bill into law.

"This year was tough, but next year will be tougher. This budget puts our state on firm ground as we head towards the challenges of next year," Perdue said in a statement.

The budget includes about $800 million in cuts and no tax increases, although some fees will go up.

The cuts affected most areas of state government. The Department of Health and Human Services, for example, saw its budget cut by $370 million, forcing it to trim services to thousands of people who receive in-home assistance.

DHHS officials raised the standards for people to qualify for aid under the Personal Care Services program. In addition to saving money, it helps the department cut down on waste and fraud. A recent audit showed that about 80 percent of those served by the PCS program were either ineligible or received too much assistance.

Balanced budget comes at personal cost Balanced budget comes at personal cost

"We've had numerous audits that show half the people were not eligible for the program," Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger said.

Of the 38,000 people currently in the PCS program, as many as 22,000 could lose services by Jan. 1.

"I don't know where I'm qualified, but I know I need help," Pauline Hinnant said.

The 77-year-old retired minister said she never fully recovered from a 2005 back operation and needs the few hours of state-funded nursing services she receives daily at her Nash County home.

"Keeping that prayer line rolling, yes I am," Hinnant said.

"This is North Carolina's fallback service," said Tracy Colvard, director of government relations for the Association of Home and Hospice Care. "You eliminate this program, and the federal pushes and all the state pushes for home community-based services, it's gone."

27 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • we_all_have_it_coming Jul 1, 2010

    C'mon... you all know very well that the most abused charity is the DHHS. Hands down. Has been for decades.

    Do you really think that poor, disabled people are now laying about in their own squalor?

    Get a grip. Ain't so.

    But someone has finally said enough. This is one place that can cut even more of the abuse and entitlements going to those that do not deserve or need it.

    And doctors?... heck yea they fill out the forms and move on to the next patient. Just like they do for all those "handicapped" people driving the new suv's and parking in the handicapped spot at every mall and walmart in the state.... proudly displaying that HD placard.

    Abuse is rampant. Thank you NC for at least a start on cutting the waste. Now get serious and cut some more!!! so the people who actually need it can get even better care.

  • mcmillancladdaug Jul 1, 2010

    Bev has done another bang up job of protecting the elderly and disabled. For someone who claims to be such an advocate, her actions don't reflect her rhetoric. Physicians must sign for
    a person to receive PCS. Is she really telling me that 50% of the physicians who have signed are wrong? I don't think so. Since when did she have a medical degree?? This is nothing but dirty politics and balancing the budget on the backs of the poor.

  • NoFreakinWay Jul 1, 2010

    "Blaming Bev for a budget she had nothing to do with"

    Newsflash for Mr. Genius, SHE SIGNED IT. And just in the knick of time! Can't wait to see how much education gets cut in 2011-12. Since everything else has been "cut to the bone", if I were a teacher I'd be moving now! As NC citizens, you have less than one year to figure where you'd like her to hit your wallet next go round cause she is certainly going to!

  • ratherbnnc Jul 1, 2010

    Oh thank goodness Bev has come to save the day. Our state will be saved thanks to her actions. Until next year! When she'll have to come to us all and ask for 12-15% more or shut down the state. Can't wait to see The Joker handle that. Schools will have to be closed, 1/3rd of all teachers let go and all Govt. jobs, including law enforcement will have to be cut in 1/2 thanks to what she has allowed to take place during her reign of terror. Way to go NC, you elected the wrong person AGAIN!
    YouKiddingMe

    This is laughable! Blaming Bev for a budget she had nothing to do with. Remember they didnt go along with her budget proposals? Seems you have no clue how the state budget process works!

  • ratherbnnc Jul 1, 2010

    too much tax and spend !!!
    commonsence

    Whine! Whine! Whine! 60% of the state budget goes towards education. So your not in favor of educating our kids? The rest of the budget has been cut to the bone. We have a balanced budget as required by law. So where is your real complaint?

  • ratherbnnc Jul 1, 2010

    You "libruls are over-regulating everything" types are hilarious, and obviously blind and deaf as well. One trick ponies, all to sell out for the corporations you love.
    Bendal1

    Wait! Thats the Republican motto. Give to the corporations and less to the people. They seem to lose alot of sleep not finding loopholes, instead of finding solutions!

  • Bendal1 Jul 1, 2010

    Yeah, less regulation has sure worked out really well in the banking, mining and oil industries lately, hasn't it?

    You "libruls are over-regulating everything" types are hilarious, and obviously blind and deaf as well. One trick ponies, all to sell out for the corporations you love.

  • NoFreakinWay Jul 1, 2010

    Oh thank goodness Bev has come to save the day. Our state will be saved thanks to her actions. Until next year! When she'll have to come to us all and ask for 12-15% more or shut down the state. Can't wait to see The Joker handle that. Schools will have to be closed, 1/3rd of all teachers let go and all Govt. jobs, including law enforcement will have to be cut in 1/2 thanks to what she has allowed to take place during her reign of terror. Way to go NC, you elected the wrong person AGAIN!

  • gunny462 Jul 1, 2010

    This whole thing is another joke on us

  • miketroll3572 Jul 1, 2010

    Of the 38,000 people currently in the PCS program, as many as 22,000 could lose services by Jan. 1.

    Why wait till Jan 1? They already said that 80% are ineligble and are ripping the state tax payers off! How about iliminating the PCS program altogether. There is no more free money! What don't the politicians understand. They make as much sense as a unicorn passing gas!

More...