NC Legislative Update 6/1/20

By Lexi Arthur

NC DOT Oversight

During a Senate Transportation Committee meeting yesterday, State Treasurer Dale Folwell called on the NCGA to transfer the NC DOT’s budget oversight to the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM). However, OSBM Director Charles Perusse said it should stay with DOT. Folwell and Perusse spoke in committee to discuss a state audit report that found DOT had overspent its budget by $742. Earlier this week, DOT officials and State Auditor Beth Wood spoke to the committee about the audit’s findings. Treasurer Fowell told the committee he disagreed with DOT officials’ presentation and said he called for the investigation of DOT’s spending in a Council of State meeting 18 months ago, noting, “They’re telling us they’re writing checks they can’t cash and they didn’t slow down,” Folwell said. “And when they did slow down they didn’t slow down enough.” When Treasurer Folwell was asked if OSBM has the staffing to take over DOT’s budget, Wood, who was in the audience, spoke up to note that the audit report recommended that OSBM take over the budget. However, Perusse said he’s not staffed to take on the budget, nor does he think it is best practice. Perusse offered his own set of suggestions that would keep the budget in DOT but modify their budgeting practices to prevent another overspend.

In addition, Wood said she was told that the 14 auditors at DOT produced 400 audits, but the auditors claimed they have done nothing since 2016. Wood said she will soon begin an audit of their audits to find out what was audited.

North Carolinians’ Stance on Reopening

Results from a recent statewide survey illustrate that North Carolinians have mixed feelings about the shutdown and reopening, but stances are divided by political party on how the state should proceed with reopening.

60% of North Carolinians feel safe or somewhat safe going back to work or out in public NOW.  At the same time, people are very divided on what activities they’d engage in when the lockdown is lifted.