Leila Pedersen


State revenue rebound signals need for deeper investment in families left out of federal stimulus 

By: - February 13, 2021

The consensus revenue forecast released yesterday provides further evidence that North Carolina leaders—Governor and General Assembly alike—can make the transformational and necessary investments to deliver a just recovery.  In the latest forecast, the Office of State Budget & Management and the Fiscal Research Division concluded in their analysis that federal stimulus and resurging economic activity have […]


NC’s response to the COVID-19 crises: Hindered by the “The Big Lie”

By: - January 25, 2021

Failure to allocate billions in available dollars while North Carolinians suffer is beyond the pale For decades, community leaders have pleaded with General Assembly members for expanded access to health care, housing supports, and educational opportunities. When COVID-19 and economic recession began to ravage communities and small businesses, state agencies joined the chorus of advocates […]


NC General Assembly can afford to go all-in to address COVID-19 harm

By: , and - January 12, 2021

Leila Pedersen and Suzy Khachaturyan contributed to this post. As legislators return to Raleigh this week, the state’s latest Cash Watch data for the week of Jan. 11, 2021, shows that North Carolina has $4.4 billion in unreserved funds —  leftover after meeting current appropriations and available to meet current needs. State lawmakers should appropriate these dollars […]

For many in NC, the economic picture remains bleak

By: - November 18, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, North Carolina families continue to face difficulty making ends meet. The U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey provides insight into how different groups of people are faring. The data show that millions of North Carolinians are finding it difficult to pay for usual household expenses during the coronavirus pandemic. Black […]


NC “Extra Credit Grants” program leaves out families with the greatest need

By: - October 30, 2020

As North Carolina works to recover from the COVID-19 recession and rebuild our economy, direct cash assistance can provide critical financial support, boost aggregate consumer demand, and improve the well-being of families and communities. To be effective, cash assistance programs should target families with the greatest need and leverage the existing public infrastructure. Unfortunately, flaws […]


Federal eviction moratorium merely kicks the can down the road

By: - September 9, 2020

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it would place a “temporary halt in residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19” through Dec. 31, 2020. This action, although needed, leaves gaping holes in the Trump administration’s response to the pre-existing and current pandemic-impacted housing crisis. People need a home […]


$124 million of Extra Credit Grant Program would go to the top 20%

By: - September 3, 2020

Senate leader Phil Berger admitted yesterday that $335 isn’t enough to pay off a mortgage but could pay for a babysitter and a dinner out for parents. His statement failed to recognize the reality of most parents in this state. When parents don’t have enough money to pay for rent, utilities or child care, they […]

Will COVID-19 motivate us to recognize housing as a human right?

By: - August 17, 2020

Before the pandemic, North Carolina was a long way from realizing the vision of adequate, affordable housing for all, despite overwhelming public support for considering housing as a human right. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, North Carolina has a shortage of 188,866 rental homes, and 70% of extremely low-income renters spend more […]

Which corporations are enjoying record profits and how are they contributing to the recovery?

By: - August 5, 2020

At the same time that North Carolina is experiencing the most dramatic economic downturn since the Great Depression and unemployment benefits are getting cut for jobless workers, massive corporations are enjoying record profits and tax breaks. A recent report by Oxfam titled “Pandemic Profiteers Exposed,” found that 17 out of the top 25 most profitable […]

Police departments are the wrong investment for North Carolina cities

By: - July 4, 2020

This Independence Day, Americans – Black, brown & white – are likely reflecting on just how divided and unequal our country remains, 245 years since its founding. Today it will be impossible to ignore who is celebrating and who is not. Who is wearing a mask and who is not? Who has joined the chorus, […]


Big falloff in revenues dictates an obvious course for state leaders

By: - May 27, 2020

As economic projections worsen across the country, the outlook on state budget shortfalls is equally bleak. While there is still much we don’t know, North Carolina’s fiscal picture is now a little clearer with the release of the state’s first revenue forecast since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week’s consensus revenue forecast expects […]

COVID-19: Three policy principles to advance equity

By: - May 22, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis have disproportionately harmed communities of color and exacerbated existing inequities. In North Carolina, the life expectancy for Black newborns is three years less than it is for white newborns, and the poverty rate for African Americans is twice what it is for white people. These troubling inequities underscore […]