04/28/09 — Budget talk: Not much notice, but there is a chance to speak up

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Budget talk: Not much notice, but there is a chance to speak up

State legislators are asking you to give your opinion on what they should spend your money on during the next 12 months.

Now, rest assured, you do not have much time to state those opinions -- the statewide public hearing to glean that information is scheduled for this evening at Johnston Community College -- one of 10 community college sites that are hosting local chances to speak to lawmakers.

And you won't get to do it in person either, unless you are planning to head to the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.

But even with the short notice, this is a fine opportunity to let your state leaders know what you think of the work they have been doing on North Carolina's budget. And there is likely to be news coverage of the event, so you can catch up after the fact to learn what your fellow citizens had to say.

The news is still pretty grim. There is close to a $3 billion deficit to fix, and it seems pretty likely that one of the ways to do that is to cut programs and people that some North Carolina citizens might not agree are dispensable.

But that is the dilemma that is facing the legislators -- and, in turn, those whom they represent. The deficit has to be handled, so where should the money come from?

The N.C. Senate has already passed a $20 billion budget. This is the House's turn to decide what to approve or reject.

So, if you feel strongly, there is still time to have your say.

And don't let the missed public forum stop you. Telephones and letters work well, too. We will give you those numbers and addresses right here, Thursday.

Published in Editorials on April 28, 2009 10:30 AM