JLF Research | Spotlights
• Regardless of whether it is measured in nominal, per capita, or inflation-adjusted terms, state spending is increasing.
• North Carolina’s total state budget peaked in 2012, reaching more than $51 billion or $5,348 per capita.
• General Fund spending has decreased since 2009, but total state spending has increased. The shift of spending outside of the General Fund has created a lack of transparency in the state budget process.
• Federal spending continues to be a major part of North Carolina’s total budget spending, totaling 45 percent of total expenditures in 2012.
• Health and Human Services is the largest state agency expenditure in North Carolina’s budget and has grown over 260 percent since 1980.
• During the Easley administration, Health and Human Services became the largest expenditure in total state government. Since 2005, the HHS budget has been consistently higher than education appropriations.