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North Carolina

State Recovery Act Website:

North Carolina's state Recovery Act website scored 35 out of 100 possible points (ranking 32nd) on Good Jobs First's updated 51-state study of state stimulus websites entitled Show Us the Stimulus (Again). The state earned points for breaking down stimulus allocations into broad and narrow categories, showing county by county breakdowns of spending overall and by program, and for providing limited information on individual contract and grant projects through an interactive map.

For detailed scoring information, see the North Carolina appendix of Show Us the Stimulus (Again).

Coordination & Oversight

Gov. Perdue created the North Carolina Office of Economic Recovery & Investment (OERI) to oversee the state's recovery related efforts. All recovery funds must be given approval by the Office of State Budget and Management, and state agencies are required to submit weekly reports to OERI. Within OERI, work groups are being created to coordinate efforts for each program and state agency receiving stimulus funds. OERI has also created a senior management team made up of state agency representatives.

Gov. Perdue recently announced a series of public meeting on economic recovery throughout the state.

The General Assembly has created both House and Senate committees to oversee stimulus implementation. State Senator Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. chairs the Senate Select Committee on Economic Recovery. Rep. Joe Tolson chairs the House Select Committee on Economic Recovery.

Dempsey Benton has been selected by the governor to oversee OERI. He previously served as Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Chief Deputy Secretary of the NC Environment and Natural Resources Department, City Assistant Manager in Raleigh, City Manager in Elizabeth City, and Finance Director in Rocky Mount.

North Carolina is one of 16 states being monitored by the Government Accountability Office to promote transparency and accountability in stimulus spending. As part of the review process, GAO inspectors will issue bimonthly reports on how ARRA funds are being used at the state and local level.  According to the July report, state officials are especially concerned with subrecipient monitoring. The state auditors office plans to make subrecipient monitoring one of the main goals for its Recovery Act work. The report also notes the Governor's office is monitoring state agency preparedness to meet the October deadline for reporting jobs saved or created. State officials expressed concern that the federal definition for jobs saved and created is unclear.

Policy Debates

North Carolina was more than a month into the fiscal year before Gov. Perdue signed the state's $19 billion budget. Included are almost $1 billion in tax increases, and about $2 billion in program cuts. An additional $1 billion in federal stimulus funds will be used to fill spending gaps. Throughout the difficult budget process, legislators struggled to come to an agreement on cuts to public education. In the end, the responsibility to decide on spending cuts for grades 4-12 was left to local education leaders. Spending for grades 4-12 must be cut statewide by $225 million.

More than two dozen legislators proposed a bill that would require stimulus contract recipients to verify that their workers were documented U.S. citizens. The bill was not enacted.

State officials are unhappy that North Carolina is receiving a low level of per-capita stimulus spending for roads, bridges and transit, compared to other states. There is concern that infrastructure is not keeping up with population growth, and that stimulus will not have enough impact.

The Black, Brown and Green Alliance sponsored a forum around the recovery act in early April.

Last updated on: 28 January, 2010

Quick Facts


Median Household Income:

Unemployment Rate:

Poverty Rate:

Estimated Recovery Act Funding:
$6.3 billion

Watchdog Groups

North Carolina Justice Center

Common Cause North Carolina

NCPIRG (North Carolina Public Interest Research Group)

North Carolina Capital Monitor


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