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24/7 Wall St: 10 States That Can't Pay Their Bills

7. North Carolina

2011 budget shortfall as a percentage of general fund: 30.6 percent
2011 budget shortfall: $5.8 billion
2012 projected budget shortfall: 12.1 percent (21st largest)
GDP change (2006-2010): +12.1 percent (21st largest increase)
Median home value change (2006-2010): +12.4 percent (15th largest increase)

Compared to most states, North Carolina actually fared relatively well during the worst years of the recession. GDP and home values increased substantially, while median income and poverty rates did not worsen by much. Despite this, the state has had high budget gaps for each of the past three years. In 2011, the state had a budget shortfall of $5.8 billion, or 30.6 percent of available resources. In order to balance the budget, the state was forced to make across-the-board cuts to public health, the elderly and disabled, K-12 education, higher education and the state workforce. The state slashed 21 percent of funding to a program that pays for nurses and social workers in low-income schools. Because of the cut, 20 schools were left without a nurse or social worker.

(iStock Photo)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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