Local Politics

Perdue meets with lawmakers to discuss budget back-up plan

Posted June 15, 2010

— Gov. Bev Perdue met with legislators on Tuesday to discuss a back-up plan for the state budget if federal stimulus funds don’t materialize.

Last month, the U.S. House passed a jobs bill that deleted $24 billion in support for cash-strapped states. North Carolina lawmakers had planned to use the money to plug holes in the Department of Health and Human Services after taking money from programs there to spend elsewhere.

Without those federal dollars, North Carolina's budget shortfall jumps to $1.2 billion dollars and could cause thousands of jobs to be eliminated, Perdue said.

By law, the state must approve a budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year by June 30.

“We know that’s looming and it’s something we’re going to have to handle,” House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman, D-Davidson, said.

Perdue asked state lawmakers to plan for the chance that Congress does not provide further help to the states.

Perdue said budget writers need to “lay out the plan to do the cuts it will take to make sure North Carolina’s budget is balanced.”

House and Senate leaders said they are counting on the funds for now, but won't pass a budget that includes those funds if they're not in hand.

“I would pass a budget and say, ‘If we get the money this is what we’ll do with it. These are the spending items that will go with it,’” said Linda Garrou, D-Forsyth, a senior budget writer in the North Carolina Senate.

North Carolina Sales Tax Perdue, lawmakers talk budget options

Garrou believes the painful cuts should be made on the front end.

“We’re on the same page with that and we hope we don’t have to make those cuts because they will be deep cuts,” Holliman said.

Holliman believes they should pass a budget based on money in hand.

“It’s incumbent upon us to make sure our budget is realistic,” he said. “We’ll make a decision based on the facts as we know it.”

Democrats in the U.S. Senate are working to put the funds back in the federal bill. A vote could be held on Wednesday. If passed, it goes back to the House.

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  • Bob3425 Jun 17, 2010

    I like to see them cut support for illegal alien, I believe the state need to live within our means and not depend on the Federal government for hand outs. I all for helping the people in need, to bring free loader living off the state, crack down. I at least make them them do community clean up, might even keep the spray paint out of their kids hands if they had to clean it up.

  • cameragirl Jun 16, 2010

    Wheel, I beg to differ with you. There have been jobs cut this past year in fact. You can't keep spending when there is no money to spend. My agency is talking already of RIF's. Our legislators need to make drastic changes in the way they spend the taxpayer's money. I don't want to lose my job but if it gets cut I'll just have to look for another one. That is life. I have been layed off before, many years ago when the State had to cut budgets. I survived and came back strong. Granted I had to work temporary jobs for 2 or 3 years but I got through it.

    Our legislators need to take heed. The general population has had to cut back on spending and they need to too. Stop all these special interest spending and get to the basic needs of the majority of people here in NC. Stop giving to Tea Pot Museums and the like. Us the funds for Schools, Safety, Services to people in need, ex. Mental Health, Social Services, Environmental, etc. And most of all don't spend what WE DON'T HAVE!!!!

  • WHEEL Jun 16, 2010

    A politician never fired a voter! Don't care how bad it gets they are not going to start now!

  • UNCfuturealumi Jun 16, 2010

    wayneboyd, you told it like it SHOULD BE..brown eyed 1...so did you. put schools back in their communities, then the buses would not have to drive from one end of the county to the other to make it in their words..equal...too many handouts...too many teachers in a classroom..one principal, one teacher..three cooks, kids clean the tables...lets go back folks and let ask Bev to ask the average person, (not a committee she selects) how to make it work.

  • Stormy13 Jun 16, 2010

    I totaly agree with Ginger and Wayne, and I am a State Employee!

  • Weaker Pelosi Jun 16, 2010

    If they would cut all the pre-k programs out, along with many other liberal feel good do good programs, they could balance their budgets without federal help.

  • wayneboyd Jun 15, 2010

    Amen Ginger, the governments have benn acknowledging a recession for the past two years, and individuals in the private can vouch for that fact. Many have been in unemployment lines for two years and the places where they use d to work have many closed their doors. It's time the state tightened it's belt and cut the fat. They could save millions every year if they were to run school the way they were run in my day. A school bus went by my house five days a week nine months each year, the same lone teacher stood in front of the class each day. That's all the state provided, it was up to get up in the morning, get my own breakfast, catch the bus and get to school and get my own education. If you failed your grade you got to summer school as best you could. There was one meal served at school each day and those who could'nt afford it worked in the lunch room to earn it.
    There's entirely too much free stuff tacked onto education.

  • bekindinnc Jun 15, 2010

    For once, I am actually agreeing w/Purdue - don't cut state jobs unless you are darn sure you have to...(and no, I do NOT work for the state)

  • gingerlynn Jun 15, 2010

    I can't balance my household budget on the hopes that I win the lottery. Neither should the state house.