Local Politics

Easley orders budget cuts

Posted September 25, 2008

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— Gov. Mike Easley has asked state agencies to cut their 2008-09 budgets by 2 percent in case the sluggish economy and the current financial crisis cut into tax revenue next year.

State Budget Director Charles Perusse issued a Sept. 17 memo to request the cuts, saying Easley doesn't want to handcuff his successor with a deficit. When Easley came into office in 2001, he had to make swift budget cuts to keep pace with declining revenue in a slow economy.

"We are not immune from the nation’s economic slowdown and are implementing measures now to give as much time as possible to manage a revenue shortfall should it arise," Perusse said in the memo.

A 2 percent cut to the $21.4 billion state budget approved in July amounts to about $420 million. The savings will be lower than that because public schools, Medicaid and state entitlement programs will be exempt from the cuts.

Easley said in a telephone interview with WRAL News that the cuts are purely a precaution. Agency officials have said they should be able to make the cuts without affecting services, he said.

"What I want to do, given all this economic uncertainty, is make sure we hold back money just in case there's a shortfall," he said. "I'd rather have (the money) and not need it than need it and not have it."

State agencies will have the discretion to make cuts where they see fit, but the Office of State Budget and Management recommended that they leave open positions vacant, limit travel and delay major purchases.

Perusse said state budget forecasts call for a slow start to 2009 and stronger economic growth later in the year. Budget officials will continue to monitor the situation through the end of December and will adjust strategies as needed, he said.

45 Comments

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  • mrswolfie Sep 26, 2008

    How can he in good conscience cut jobs and positions after his wife gets such a unheard of raise.

  • hopelessillegals Sep 26, 2008

    I think his budget cuts should start with his wife's salary and then get him to reimburse the state for his vacation in Europe

  • saltnsanddefenderofdamiddleclass Sep 25, 2008

    This is a lie. There are no cuts, just reductions in the rate of growth. get it right mikey

  • catwoman1 Sep 25, 2008

    seeingthru,
    An example of an entitlement program is the food and nutrition services-EBT. In other words...foodstamp program. There are others that the state is required to maintain. I work for one of those programs which also has a federal mandate.

  • pbjbeach Sep 25, 2008

    make the ncdot enforce the ncdot state speceficiations an quit paying contractors for non-speceficiation an allow state highway inspectors to enforce the spec's an then also quit allowing the payment of false claims to these contractors that were allowed to be paid for either bad work or non spec work which the spec's plainly states that if during the coarse of construction on a project that bad non-speceficiation work is to be repaired or replaced at no cost to the department of transportation an that it will be borne entirely by the conntractor so why has the ncdot been stuck with the bills for allof these recent ncdot screw- ups could it possbly related to the BUSH DOLE, BURR INFLUENCE where that they wont allow their big donation's partners within the contractoring industry in this state to be regulated well i say that these contractors are suppose to know what they are bidding on before hand that is the purpose of the ncdot holding pre-construction conferences

  • beachboater Sep 25, 2008

    Now hold on you guys. Mr. Easley is making a valiant effort to a massive spending cut. We'll cut 2% of spending for everything that doesn't spend any money. No exceptions.

    Education, entitlements, and medicaid are exempt. What's left of the budget when you take those items out? 2% of nothing is nothing. I'll bet even Bev Perdue could figure that one out.

    I guess Sleazley is trying to slip something past the More and Four program folks.

    What a joke. Now let's see if WE are dumb enough to let Bev follow the leader.

  • ONEHARDHEAD Sep 25, 2008

    Seems fiscal responsibility is a real hot topic nowadays, huh? Look, it's simple- cut the OVERSPENDING! Stop building new roads, fix the old ones that are falling apart. Don't cut the jobs of people that actually DO THE WORK, cut out unnecessary administration. Stop coming up with "save us all" new programs. And put a true independent into office with no party ties. A real, honest-to-goodness man of the people that has actually WORKED for a living in the last 30 years, that knows how to balance a checkbook from practice!

  • FloydTurbo Sep 25, 2008

    Cut $170,000 out of NCSU's unnecessary faculty budget.

    Hey Mike, any comment on Jim Black?

  • NZ Sep 25, 2008

    All legislative branches at state and federal level need to wise up. How much could we save by scrapping the Justice Industry. Caning for low level offenses, capital punishment for the violent criminals. Organ harvesting and biofuel from the discards.

    Retrain the Criminal Justice workers to work in the schools.

    We can no longer afford the misguided extravagance known as the Criminal Justice Industry. We need to get down to basics. I'm not talking interject religion or anything like that, simply a pragmatic approach.

  • seeingthru Sep 25, 2008

    what a joker.what is a state entitlement program anyone??

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