Local Politics

Lawmakers call Perdue's budget 'starting point'

Posted April 21, 2010

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— Lawmakers began picking apart Gov. Beverly Perdue's $19 billion budget proposal Wednesday, saying the final state spending plan for the 2010-11 fiscal year will likely be smaller.

"This is a starting point," said Sen. Linda Garrou, D-Forsyth, co-chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Fiscal analysts have projected a $788 million deficit for fiscal 2010-11, which starts in July.

Lawmaker generic, General Assembly generic Budget likely to shrink in General Assembly

Perdue's proposal would lower overall state spending by about $400 million from fiscal 2009-10, which ends in June, and would use more than $500 million in federal funds to plug gaps in the budget. Most state agencies would have spending cut an additional 5 to 7 percent – education would be cut less than 4 percent – and more than 600 state jobs would be eliminated under the plan.

The governor said Tuesday when she released the spending plan that her priorities were on creating jobs, education, safer communities and reforming state government.

Most lawmakers agreed that there are many more losers in Perdue's budget than winners.

"I think it's a little disingenuous to say we're doing a lot to provide more for education when the largest single cut in the budget is going to our K-12 system," said Sen. Richard Stevens, R-Wake.

Perdue's plans to invest millions to boost the state economy got the best reviews from lawmakers. Her plans include providing a tax credit of $250 per employee to small businesses that provide health insurance to their workers and creating a $15 million incentive fund to encourage small businesses to hire people who have been unemployed for at least two months.

"We desperately need jobs. If we can turn some of these dollars to creating real jobs, that'll be the winner in this budget," said Rep. Jim Crawford, D-Granville, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Lawmakers also picked at individual line items in the governor's budget, from cutting school supplies to eliminating personal care services for disabled people. Some expressed concern about giving teachers a pay raise but not other state employees, and others said they don't like the idea of repaying state workers for furloughs last spring because those employees already took the time off.

The governor said she cut $1 billion in spending in her budget, but both Republican and Democratic legislators said she did more shifting of money than cutting.

"In big terms, she's taken about 5 percent of the money and reprogrammed it somewhere else," House Minority Leader Paul Stam said.

"I noticed the numbers sort of equaled out, and I'm concerned about that," Garrou said.

Senior budget writers said they're concerned Perdue didn't go far enough to prepare the state for when federal economic stimulus dollars disappear next year. Also, millions of dollars in federal money the governor is counting on isn't

"I think we'll be looking real hard at the expansion dollars (for various programs)," Crawford said.

"I would be surprised if our budget were not lower than what the governor has in her recommended budget," Garrou said.

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  • jodsum Apr 22, 2010

    Gov. Perdue's proposed budget prepares North Carolina to take off as the economy improves by recommending strategic investments in four priority areas:

    creating jobs,
    ensuring every student graduates high school prepared for success,
    setting government straight and
    building safer and healthier communities.

    So... why are 600 state jobs going to be cut if her first priority is to create jobs, or do you have to be one of the good ole boys to get one of the new jobs?

  • chfdcpt Apr 22, 2010

    Wow, so let us sway toward the teachers, and use a screwdriver on the rest of the state employees again.

    And the state employees did not take those days off, they were made to take time off with no pay, in addition to loosing 1% of their yearly salary in the last 2 months of the fiscal year.

  • ratherbnnc Apr 22, 2010

    Hey Bev:

    Start staying home in this state an used the teleconferencing for your trips an quite flying all over the world an look out for the citiizens of this state an our economy right here in this state an you also needs to close the treasury doors to the biggest coporations in this state an quit the tax breaks an tax incentives in the form of coporate welfare if indivsuals in this state were receiving as much welfare as the coporations there would be such an outcrying from the people that you would never hear the end to it thank you
    pbjbeach

    Also besides using the word AND and not AN..You might also trying learning some punctuation and grammar in your posts.
    For that very reason, it makes your posts not worth the effort to read.

  • wjcspanteach Apr 22, 2010

    pbj -- would you please learn to spell the word "AND" so your posts are much easier to read. I have a hard time deciding if I agree or disagree with you because I can't hardly decipher the one long run-on sentence with the indefinite article "an" used over and over instead of the conjunction "and." I don't mean to be disrespectful or a grammar nazi, but if you want people to take meaning from what you're trying to say -- it does need to be written in a logical and sensible way so the general public can understand it. Thank you very much.

  • YougottabKidding13 Apr 21, 2010

    Well, well, well, Association fo Home and Hospice Care looks like you've cut your nose off to spite your face. All of your law suits that have cost our state more money have ended up getting PCS totally cut out of the budget and now thousands of people that really did need the PCS care will not get it because you were so busy defending all of the fraudulent providers and patients that didn't really need the care. Tim Rogers, I hope you can sleep well tonight!

  • pbjbeach Apr 21, 2010

    Hey Bev:

    Start staying home in this state an used the teleconferencing for your trips an quite flying all over the world an look out for the citiizens of this state an our economy right here in this state an you also needs to close the treasury doors to the biggest coporations in this state an quit the tax breaks an tax incentives in the form of coporate welfare if indivsuals in this state were receiving as much welfare as the coporations there would be such an outcrying from the people that you would never hear the end to it thank you

  • demo7691 Apr 21, 2010

    Hey Bev I would like to give you a starting point. Quit traveling everywhere and anywhere just to be seen. Its costing the state way too much to fly you around in the Chopper