Excerpt From: NC Capitol Connection. Written By: Matt Caulder.
The House overwhelmingly passed a bill Wednesday to strengthen the state Savings Reserve to ensure North Carolina has money saved up for emergencies such as Hurricane Matthew and the wildfires that plagued the western part of the state in 2016.
The bill, HB 7, was passed in a 110-3 vote on the House floor after debates Wednesday afternoon.
The bill directs the state to save at least 7.5 percent of the General Fund operating budget from the previous year, but more can be added to the Savings Reserve if the General Assembly chooses to. Currently the state Savings Reserve account has more than $1.4 billion.
“This is a commonsense and bold bill that puts into the law our strong principles of good government and fiscal discipline,” said Rep. Dean Arp (R-Union), who is running the bill in the House. “This is about accountability to our children and being responsible with what we’ve been blessed with, with a look to the future.
“If we do not save for future economic downturns, we will have to cut potentially vital and important government functions. This bill attempts to avoid that situation. If we save responsibly now, we can have the peace of mind knowing that we won’t have to make those tough decisions later on, those tough decisions to cut services we all believe in.
“Saving for the future is a basic financial principle we teach our children, so we ought to practice it in state government as well. This bill is a step forward in doing so.”