The North Carolina House of Representatives voted 110 to 3 on Wednesday to pass House Bill 7 Strengthen Savings Reserve. The legislation is part of an ongoing effort by Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly to save responsibly and prepare the state for potential emergency funding or disaster recovery needs.
House Bill 7 directs the state to save at least 7.5% of the General Fund’s operating budget from the prior fiscal year. North Carolina now has over $1.4 billion in its Savings Reserve account.
Representative Dean Arp, a primary sponsor of the legislation, spoke in favor of the bill:
“This is a commonsense and bold bill that puts into the law our strong principles of good government and fiscal discipline. 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.”
The bill goes to the state senate for consideration.