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NC Child Legislative Update: Feb. 9-13

Budget News

The consensus revenue forecast was released this week and it includes a projected $271 million budget shortfall for the current fiscal year. While this development was not unexpected, it will require the executive branch to either dip into reserves or implement additional budget cuts.

Click here to read the memo sent to legislators by the General Assembly’s chief economist, Barry Boardman. 

Click here to see the revenue forecast and budget outlook for 2015-2017.

Focus on Kids 0-5

During Tuesday’s Joint HHS Appropriations Subcommittee meeting, committee chairs and staff announced that the Subcommittee will shift towards a strategy that emphasizes “investing” in results over “paying” for services. The basic idea behind this shift is that the state can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its health spending by tying investments to specific public health outcomes.

The initial focus of this strategy in 2015 will be on children 0-5, which is very exciting news. We’re in the process of meeting with legislators and legislative staff to find out how we can support this effort. More details soon.

Click here to read the Fiscal Research Division handout explaining this shift in strategy.

Bills

SB81, Toxic Free Kids Act — This bill was introduced by Sen. Stan Bingham and would ban three toxic chemicals from children’s products, bisphenol A (BPA), TRIS flame retardants, and phthalates. Click here to read NC Child’s press release on the bill’s introduction. 

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