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POP QUIZ

by YES! Staff

POP QUIZ

Welcome to the YES! Weekly Pop Quiz, where we ask politicians and public servants about their jobs. This week, we address questions to members of the NC General Assembly. The rules are simple: no research, no callbacks.

Q U E S T I O N S

1. What is the projected gap in the state’s 2009-2010 budget, assuming no growth in revenue and no growth in funding commitments? 2. What percentage does the project gap represent compared to the overall projected budget? 3. What percentage did the budget gap represent compared to the state’s overall budget during the 2002 recession? 4. How much money does the state health plan need in order to maintain current benefit levels (in the 2009 biennium)?

Sen. Katie Dorsett (D-Guilford)

1. $2 billion. [ ]

2. About 10 percent. [ ]

3. I wasn’t here so I don’t remember that. [X]

4. $800 million right away, the projected is 1.2 billion. I know we’re in bad shape. [ ]

Sen. Don Vaughan (D-Guilford)

1. $It’s $2 billion, $3 billion? The latest guess is 2.3 billion. [ ]

2. I don’t know off the top of my head. [ ]

3. No, I wasn’t here in 2002. [X]

4. I’ve got it in my brief cases in the back [of my car]. [X]

Rep. John Blust (R-Guilford)

1. I think that is around $2 billion. [ ]

2. That would be close to 10 percent. [ ]

3. I am not certain. It wasn’this high. I think then it was about 3.1 percent. [X]

4. For now, we’re going to have to appropriate $300 million just to keep paying benefits this fiscal year. For the biennium they’re saying $1.2 billion. Don’t ask me for the solution yet. [ ]

Rep. Dale Folwell (R-Forsyth)

1. $2.2 billion. [ ]

2. 9.9 percent. [ ]

3. Don’t know. [X]

4. $1.28 billion. [ ]

Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford)

1. The budget gap that needs to be addressed by budget cuts is $2.1 billion. (I hear that the number might be closer to $3 billion, mainly from advocates. I guess that’s based on the idea that you might want to give employees a raise, the increasing cost of Medicaid, enrollment increases in community college and K-12, ABC [performance bonuses to teachers].) [ ] 2. About 10 percent. [ ]

3. I think the budget gap was around 10 percent. [ ]

4. We’re looking at 1.2 billion for the biennium for 2009 and 2010. [ ]

Rep. Maggie Jeffus (D-Guilford)

1. I think they’ve given us a range from 1.2 up to 2 billion. I sort of understand that it’s a little hard to pin it down. Could be a moving target. [ ]

2. I think that’s about $.9.5 billion. No. Put me down for more than $2 billion. [X]

3. Maybe that’s the 9.5 percent. [ ]

4. I’ll probably guess at that. 3.2 percent or something of that nature. [X]

5. It’s $1.2 billion. [ ]

Rep. Earl Jones (D-Guilford)

1. Right now approx $2 billion. [ ]

2. What? 10 percent? [ ]

3. I wasn’t here. [X]

4. That’s been changing. Oh, it was between 12 and 15 million. I forgot. [X]

A N S W E R S

1. $625 million

2. $2.1 billion

3. 10 percent

4. 10.6 percent

5. $1.0 billion ($1.2 billion is acceptable, as that is the total amount, including employee contributions to the plan.)

* All information from the NC Fiscal Research Division * Answers within 1 percent are scored

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