Local Politics

Perdue quietly signs state budget

Posted August 7, 2009

State budget

— Gov. Beverly Perdue on Friday quietly signed the $19 billion state budget into law more than a month after the spending plan was supposed to take effect.

"It's nothing people can brag about, but it's something that protects education," Perdue said in explaining why she bypassed the traditional formal signing ceremony for a state budget.

Gov. Beverly Perdue Perdue: Budget 'nothing to brag about'

The governor also noted that she held a news conference Tuesday evening when lawmakers were voting on the budget to express her views and answer questions from reporters.

Perdue said she would have preferred a budget that raised more revenue and cut less from education, but she said she recognized lawmakers had made tough decisions in trying to erase a projected $4.6 billion deficit.

The budget includes $990 million in new revenue, mostly from a one-cent increase to the sales tax rate. It also includes higher taxes on tobacco and alcohol and a surcharge on  the tax liability of businesses and top wage earners.

"We cut every piece of state government," Perdue said. "I really do believe it helps keep public schools functioning. It doesn't do it all. It's not a great solution, but it's better than where we were."

The budget also includes a provision to continue providing in-state tuition rates to athletes from outside North Carolina at University of North Carolina schools.

"I think there has to be a commitment to all the schools to keep tuition as low as possible, and so these kind of decisions are problematic," Perdue said.

Republican lawmakers continued to criticize the budget and predicted it would become a campaign issue next year.

"This budget raises taxes by well over $900 million annually, and you still cut education by a lot," Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger said.

"Economics 101 basically says you don't try to raise taxes during a recession to get out of it," said Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg.

Berger and others maintained the budget could have been balanced without the tax increases.

"When times are tough, tighten your belt," he said.

Democrats said they believe they did tighten, slashing the Department of Health and Human Services budget by 29 percent and education spending by almost 10 percent. About 725 state workers will lose their jobs under the budget, and another 1,318 vacant positions will be eliminated. Hundreds of teachers also could lose their jobs as school districts adjust to cuts in state revenue.

Having already cut billions from the budget, Democrats said, they were left with no choice but to raise taxes to avoid even deeper cuts.

"If we had not made some increased revenue, the cuts to education and health and human services would have really been major," said Sen. Bill Purcell, D-Scotland.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Life-goes-on. Aug 11, 2009

    They didn't balance anything! We actually paid those clowns to shirk their duties and raise our taxes so the fat continues on.
    This whole administration needs the boot!

  • jet2rdu Aug 10, 2009

    Governor Perdue and her Democratic State House and Senate legislature members should have their pictures hung in The North Carolina Museum of History. They should all be displayed in The Knights of The Black Flag Exhibit. These landlocked Jones Street Pirates have managed to plunder the citizens of NC of more of their money than all the Atlantic Coastal Pirates combined.
    They sure know how to raise taxes but do not know how to find fraud and corruption in the NC State University System. The Sunday front page story in the News & Obama, sorry Observer, on the big money payouts and leaves to these “Administrators” shows the extent of the costs of political corruption. It is not a coincidence that most all of those named in the story are Democrats. Millions and millions of NC taxpayer dollars wasted.

  • NCPACKER Aug 10, 2009

    She is pathetic. I am sure this is her First and LAST term in office. Even the people who voted for her dislike her. Again, she has no clue!

  • SilverWolf Aug 10, 2009

    Democrat = Liar. Enough said.

  • ranquick Aug 7, 2009

    Shame on you Governor and all you on the hill i n Raleigh. You should have cut your PORK instead you added more on us as taxpayers...thanks

  • ridgerunner Aug 7, 2009

    Bev is disapointed cause she did not get all the money she wanted to blow any way she pleased.

  • bluecharger Aug 7, 2009

    wouldn't you think NORTH CAROLINA natives could smell pork better than this group has demonstrated???? re-elct NO ONE!!!!

  • Boogalooboy Aug 7, 2009

    The quieter Clara Belle is the better...

  • rtmus53 Aug 7, 2009

    "nothing to brag about" much like her administration