Monday numbers: The exploding need that NC lawmakers shouldn’t ignore

By: - May 25, 2020 7:56 am

North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders have sent mixed signals thus far on what the nature of their response to the COVID-19 recession will be.

On the one hand, they’ve repeatedly taken credit for the fact that the state entered the crisis with a reasonably large “rainy day fund” something that would seem to indicate they intend to use those reserves to meet the state’s need and blunt the effects of the recession.

On the other, they’ve also made repeated references to “belt-tightening” and services cuts something that will only worsen the recession according to many economic experts.

Along these lines, last week, experts at the North Carolina Budget & Tax Center issued a report that documented many of the state’s massive and exploding needs that will require aggressive public action in the coming weeks and months. Unless specified, the following numbers are from: “Meeting the needs of today to secure a more inclusive recovery tomorrow: What’s missing from recent policymaking at federal, state levels”:

23,222, 737  number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths thus far in North Carolina Source: NCDHHS

Nearly 1 million  number of North Carolinians who have filed for unemployment insurance because of the pandemic

As many as 600,000 estimated number who have lost employment, but not filed for unemployment insurance

More than 100,000 amount by which the number of North Carolinians receiving food assistance exceeded the number a year ago

340,000 estimated number of North Carolinains who have lost employer-sponsored health insurance

723,000 estimated number when you include family members

1.1 million number that were already uninsured prior to the pandemic

40% estimated share of unemployed likely to become uninsured in states like North Carolina that have not expanded Medicaid Source: Report: uninsured rate will soar in states that have not expanded Medicaid

23% estimated share in states that have expanded Medicaid (Ibid.)

At least 20% share of North Carolinians working in occupations that carry a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 because of working in close proximity to colleagues and customers

Around 50% amount of eligible payroll covered by he Payroll Protection Program in North Carolina.

144,000 number of children who will lose childcare if, as expected, one-third of the state’s providers have trouble reopening after two weeks of being closed

Through 2021 and into 2022 time period through which the economy is likely to be directly impacted

More than $4 billion hit to state revenues over the current biennium according to the new consensus revenue forecast from the General Assembly’s Fiscal research Division

Almost all share of the shortfall that North Carolina could close if it merely returned tax rates to where they were in 2013 when GOP leaders commenced a series of regressive tax cuts that primarily benefited rich individuals and profitable corporations Source: BTC Report – “State revenue needed to budget shortfalls”

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Rob Schofield
Rob Schofield

Editor Rob Schofield oversees day-to-day newsroom operations, authors regular commentaries, and hosts a weekly radio show/podcast.