Raleigh, N.C. — The legislature's top economists told lawmakers Thursday that, although state revenue is growing, the amount of money needed to pay for state needs is also growing, leaving the General Assembly with little money to address other priorities.
The 2014-15 state budget is about $271 million in the red right now, the economists said, but lawmakers noted that there is enough in reserve to make up the shortfall and that the budget hole is nowhere near as deep as it was two years ago.
In other news, the Senate gave final approval to legislation changing the formula used to calculate the state gas tax. Both Gov. Pat McCrory and Transportation Secretary Tony Tata expressed concerns about the portion of the bill that eliminates 500 DOT jobs to make up for cutting the tax by 2.5 cents per gallon.