Local Politics

N.C. lawmakers told of worsening fiscal picture

Posted May 6, 2009

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— North Carolina government budget writers have received more bad news about the state's revenue picture – what economists say is proof that the state is in its worst recession since the Great Depression.

Fiscal analysts at the Legislature said Wednesday that lawmakers will have to find an additional $3.1 billion in savings or tax increases to close a widening budget gap for the next two fiscal years, beginning July 1.

State budget State's financial situation gets worse

The gap is now projected at $4.6 billion.

Economist Barry Boardman told a joint House-Senate committee that the April 15 tax collections were worse than expected – down 40 percent – and created a direr fiscal situation than forecast.

Revenues are expected to be 10.8 percent less this fiscal year than the year
before. That is an unprecedented figure, Boardman said. The next largest previous decline was 6 percent in 2001.

"I think we're all in a state of shock," Sen. David Hoyle, D-Gaston, said. The Senate sent the budget to the House four weeks ago.

"I don't know if the people of North Carolina really realize how bad this really is," he added.

Last week, Gov. Bev Perdue ordered an across-the-board pay cut of one-half percent for state employees to help find an additional $1 billion to balance the current year's budget by June 30.

Hoyle said it's likely Perdue's moves are just the beginning.

"There's going to be other things coming that a lot of people are not going to like," Hoyle said.

That's a major concern, state employees said.

"Budget-wise, we don't know whether we'll be state employees anymore or whether there will be furloughs or layoffs," state Department of Transportation employee Raj Pavani said.

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  • Professor May 7, 2009

    prisoners get this free education

    Not necessarily.

  • Objective Scientist May 7, 2009

    Nufsaid: "I hear you. I understand why you do not identify yourself as a democrat."

    Ha!Got a "chuckle" out of reading that. Fact is I am NOT a democrat. I am NOT a republican. I have NO desire to be associated/identified with either party. I truly value the label of "INDEPENDENT/Unaffiliated". I have completed many of those instruments designed to determine if one is conservative or liberal, republican or democrat, etc. For all practical purpose I am always "dead center" on those. Sure, for some "sub-issue" areas I may swing somewhat one way or the other but on average I am "Dead Center". I do not vote straight tickets and have never agreed with everything a candidate or party I vote for says or does. I have "some idea" of what you may be, democrat/republican, but it really matters not. I agree with some of your statements & "from whence you come", but I do not on others, don't understand your perspective or question it. BUT I can respect you, discuss and compromise for common good!

  • Nancy May 7, 2009

    "During the campaign against McCrory, Perdue was touting for "free community college education"....does this mean this won't happen now?"

    From what I understand, prisoners get this free education, not law abiding citizens.

  • nufsaid May 7, 2009

    "wow... after reading comments here, I now feel confident that cutting the state employee workforce by 10% is definitely needed.

    You really shouldn't be commenting here on the taxpayer's dime.
    Shaleen"

    In case anyone hasn't figured it out, "Shaleen" is a troll.

  • muttley - back by popular demand May 7, 2009

    wow... after reading comments here, I now feel confident that cutting the state employee workforce by 10% is definitely needed.

    You really shouldn't be commenting here on the taxpayer's dime.

  • nufsaid May 7, 2009

    "In short... I love my country and my state, but I HATE blatant partisanship!
    Objective Scientist"

    I hear you. I understand why you do not identify yourself as a democrat.

  • Objective Scientist May 7, 2009

    Nufsaid: "I agree with you this time. But note that Obama's statement was part of an attempt to increase Federal spending."

    I totally agree with your statements re: Mary Easley and elected officials not seeming to want to be part of the solution! Regarding Obama's statement that I quoted and suggested that it would also apply to NC... I think it would apply to NC, REGARDLESS of what Obama was/is trying to do by making the statement. We must break out of the partisan, "play on words", "straight jacket" within which our government, federal and state, seems to have been in for several decades. It appears that part of our problem may be that Democrats will not vote for a Republican "idea", or vice-versa, no matter how good, how logical, how rationalistic and sound it may be... because they don't want the "other party" to get credit for something thAt may actually work and benefit a majority of the populace. In short... I love my country and my state, but I HATE blatant partisanship!

  • nufsaid May 7, 2009

    "My brother works in a place where he has to fill out a timesheet, indicating how much time spent on various projects, etc. Every Monday at 9pm, he and fellow employees meet in the bosses office and have to give an accounting of what they did the previous week.

    I'm glad state employees don't have to do that lol.
    Why_Bother"

    Some SE actually do.

  • shepherd May 7, 2009

    My brother works in a place where he has to fill out a timesheet, indicating how much time spent on various projects, etc. Every Monday at 9pm, he and fellow employees meet in the bosses office and have to give an accounting of what they did the previous week.

    I'm glad state employees don't have to do that lol.

  • nufsaid May 7, 2009

    Regarding the federal budget, Obama stated this morning: "There is a lot of money being spent inefficiently, ineffectively, and -- in some cases -- in ways that are actually pretty stunning," "Stunning" is probably most often used to convey something positive, but I'm certain it means "stunningly negative" in his statement. (I am a true political independent and not beholding to either major part, so I'm not attempting to bolster Democrats or Obama by this observation.) A hard, objective look at NC's finances would likely reveal the same thing "... a lot of money being spent inefficiently, ineffectively, and -- in some cases -- in ways that are actually pretty stunning,". Objective Scientist"

    I agree with you this time. But note that Obama's statement was part of an attempt to increase Federal spending.

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