Local Politics

Perdue's speech expected to balance hope, grim reality

Posted March 9, 2009

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— North Carolina's economy is certain to get top billing in Gov. Beverly Perdue's "State of State" address Monday night as the state tries to plot a path through the deepening recession and forecasts of shrinking revenue.

The latest projections call for a $2.2 billion deficit through June and a shortfall of more than $3 billion in the fiscal year that starts July 1. Perdue already has ordered state agencies to reduce spending by 9 percent, and more cuts are expected in the coming months.

Perdue's first 'State of the State' has grim news Perdue's first 'State of the State' has grim news

Observers said they expect Perdue to deliver a "big picture" speech that isn't packed with a lot of specifics. Her main challenge, they said, will be balancing cuts with a sense of confidence.

"I think, in several ways, it's the most important speech she's given," said Jack Betts, a political columnist with The Charlotte Observer. "She now suddenly has to figure out how to pay the freight or let that freight go."

Perdue will face two audiences while speaking: lawmakers and the general public.

Sen. Neal Hunt, R-Wake, said he wants to hear about long-term changes, not quick fixes.

"(We need to) do some drastic cutting on expenditures," Hunt said. "I'm pretty encouraged how she's acting. Now, we're going to see where her policy is."

Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said the governor would use the speech to lay out her priorities.

"She will talk about education. She will talk to us about job creation," Pearson said. "She will talk about (the fact that) there will be cuts. There will be some pain, but the broader picture you will see – the broader message that she will give – is we will work together. We will get through this."

Democratic consultant Gary Pearce, who helped former Gov. Jim Hunt craft several State of the State addresses, predicted Perdue would hold back on specifics and instead focus on building the public's confidence.

"If she gets into specifics – budget cuts, tax increases – she just sort of mobilizes the critics, and they have more time to shoot at her," Pearce said. "Her job ... is more to show that she's got a plan, that she's up to the challenge and she believes the state can meet the challenge."

Perdue is expected to send her proposed budget to the General Assembly next week.

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  • Adelinthe Mar 9, 2009

    How in the world does this woman expect to pay for all the promises she made to education today when she's just reallocated hundreds of millions of dollars from the EDUCATIONAL Lottery for other purposes.

    Boggles the mind!!!

    God bless.

    RB

  • whatusay Mar 9, 2009

    I really feel for Gov. Perdue. She keeps supporting Obama's socialist agenda and wonder why we are still sinking. She should never have accepted any of the government bail out stimulus for the state of NC. What was she thinking???? Socialism has never worked, and it never will.

  • WRALSUCKS Mar 9, 2009

    You forgot to include "lies" in the content of her speech.

    Lies, like "the lottery money is for education".

  • whatelseisnew Mar 9, 2009

    The State does not have any financial troubles. Cut the budget by 50 percent. Use the surplus you will then have to pay down the debt. Once you are debt free, then you can spend all the revenue inflows. And never ever borrow another penny.

  • grayboomerang Mar 9, 2009

    Well, maybe she'll throw on another expensive dress and throw another expensive party in her OWN honor after the speech?

  • meh2 Mar 9, 2009

    PBJ - look for the shift lock key.

    The grim reality is that we have a democrat government - tax and spend, baby, it's the original hope and change.

  • pbjbeach Mar 9, 2009

    This statement is not ment to be in favor of free give away programs for anyone other than the truely needy. But due the the recent state of the economy people that are at the current time fareing well might find themselves through no fault of their own looking at foreclourses or a job losean end up being one of the truly needy for a lot of people that have maxed out credit cards an acculmulated a lot of debt they could find themselves in dire straits with just an unexpected sickness or an aoulandish hostipal bill an end up in banckruptcy an be truely needy themselves thank you

  • pbjbeach Mar 9, 2009

    THERE ISN'T A POLITICAN IN ALL OF THE GENERALY ASSEMBLY THAT HAS GOT THE GUTS TO ANSWER THE REAL TOUGH QUESTIONS THAT THE PEOPLE OF THIS STATE NEED TO HAVE ANSWERED WITH REGARDS TO TO FUNDING AN SPENDING AN ACCOUNTABLITY FOR WHAT HAS GONE ON IN THE PAST OR THE PRESENT SITUATION THAT THIS STATE FINDS IT'S SELF IN . INSTEAD OF TRUTH IN LENDING LAWS THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY NEEDS TO COME UP WITH REAL TIME PENLTY'S FOR LIEING POLITICANS . THE ONLY WAY TO TELL IF A POLITICAN IS LIEING IS IF HIS/HER LIPS ARE MOVING WHILE TALKING WITH YOU IN MY PERSONNAL OPINION THEY NEED TO HAVE A 1-TWO YEAR TERM FOR RESPRESENTIVES IN THE HOUSE AN 1-FOUR YEAR TERM FOR THE SENATE AN AFTER THEY THEY WOULD AN SHOULD HAVE TO LEAVE FOR JUST MAYBE THAT WOULD LIMIT THE DAMAGES THAT THEY COULD INFLICT ON THE PEOPLE/TAXPAYERS OF THIS STATE AT LEAST SOME WHAT ANYWAY THANK YOU

  • Usually_right Mar 9, 2009

    Stop giving the illegals free services and the problem is solved.

  • pbjbeach Mar 9, 2009

    Kevinunc97

    If you would dig deep enough you would find out that in all probablity nc is more corrupt than either of the other states that you mentioned above for there is corruption on top of corruption within state government it's in the ncdot ncdol ncdoa an everywhere that you can think to look for it

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