Each year, our elected representatives have an extraordinary opportunity to use public policy to improve the lives of children and families in North Carolina. By expanding access to high-quality health care, strengthening our schools and early learning opportunities, and growing economic opportunity, policymakers can change a child’s life trajectory. Conversely, policy decisions can also create or worsen barriers to opportunity and success.
Aside from a few exceptions, the policies and budget decisions approved by legislators in 2015 were insufficient to meet the myriad challenges faced by North Carolina’s children and families. Specifically, the General Assembly:
- Maintained recession-era levels of investment in children’s health and education.
- Implemented additional cuts to state revenue.
- Failed to close the health insurance coverage gap, leaving thousands of parents without health care and vulnerable to devastating medical debt.
While legislators took positive, incremental steps on a number of fronts, the impact of those policies will be limited by the overall lack of resources that permeates our health care, education, and justice systems.
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