State Budget Update - NC House of Representatives Proposed Budget

The North Carolina House of Representatives released their proposed budget April 12. We expected to see budget cuts for all state agencies, and in their proposal, House members suggest eliminating the entire $44 million appropriation to UNC Hospitals. This is money we use every year to offset the cost of providing uncompensated care, which this year will total more than $300 million.

We are pleased that this budget proposal preserves the annual $50 million contribution to our University Cancer Research Fund (UCRF).

It is important to note that the House of Representatives’ proposed budget is not the final budget. The Senate’s budget proposal is still unknown. We will not know details about a final budget until late spring or early summer. We will keep you informed as budget discussions continue and pass along comprehensive information when it is finalized.

The message below was sent on Friday, April 8, 2011.

Dear Colleagues:

The North Carolina General Assembly has been involved in lengthy debates about the state budget for several weeks now. The State of North Carolina is facing a daunting budget shortfall and reductions will be necessary to all areas of state government. Next week we expect the North Carolina House of Representatives to roll out their budget recommendations for the next two years. I would like to inform you of how we are preparing for the next stage of the budget process.

We expect to see a state budget that will include reductions to the University and the UNC Health Care System.  We are determined to protect our ability to provide outstanding education to our students, to maintain national prominence as a top-tier research university, and to deliver the highest-quality medical care to our patients. I want to assure you that President Ross, Chancellor Thorp and I, along with many of our colleagues across the UNC System are advocating vigorously for the University, so that we are not disproportionately affected by these cuts.

Over the next several weeks, a number of our own faculty members will visit with legislators to explain how our clinical, research and educational work impacts the residents of their home districts. Through these visits, our faculty members and leaders will emphasize to legislators that we are deeply appreciative and proud of our state support and that we provide exceptional value to the state. Our work throughout the state is impressive. A map with summary information is available online at unchealthcare.org/countydata.

I will continue to keep you informed as the budget process unfolds.  Rest assured, we will maintain our advocacy efforts to ensure that cuts are kept to a minimum and will not lead to long-term permanent damage. As I have said before, even in difficult times our mission remains unchanged – we will continue to provide the best possible care to our patients, to support groundbreaking medical research, and to teach our much-needed future health professionals.

Thank you for your support of and dedication to the UNC School of Medicine and UNC Health Care.

Sincerely,

Bill Roper

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