CHARLOTTE – Nonprofits across the state are bracing for another round of potentially steep cuts, reductions and layoffs this upcoming fiscal year.
To ensure the public is as ready as it can be, the United Way of North Carolina teamed up with the N.C. Justice Center Tuesday to discuss how next year's budget is shaping up and what those decisions will mean for working families across the state.
"We're at a very delicate point in the economic recovery and the work of North Carolina's policymakers in the next few months will be crucial to ensuring that recovery continues," said Alexandra Sirota, director of the N.C. Budget and Tax Center.
Jane McIntyre, executive director of United Way of the Central Carolinas, said this upcoming legislative session is particularly important for nonprofits, which are often asked to step up when government cannot. She said those agencies help fund everything from housing to healthcare to education, but for many it's getting harder, as lawmakers work to address a potential $3.5 billion shortfall.
"I think we all know in this economy, it is a very, very tough time. So all decisions are tough," she added.
House Representative-elect Bill Brawley agrees but feels a compromise can be found that will work for the people, without raising taxes.
"We need to prioritize the needs of the people of North Carolina, find the best way to meet those needs with the money available and then fund those initiatives," he said.
The North Carolina General Assembly will convene Jan. 26 to begin addressing next years budget.