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Perdue's second State of State offers big plans, few details

Posted February 14, 2011
Updated February 15, 2011

— The state budget was the main theme of Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue’s second State of the State address Monday evening, delivered before a Republican-controlled legislature for the first time in more than a century.

Perdue told lawmakers that her budget proposal, due later this week, will include steep cuts in state spending to address a projected budget shortfall of around $2.5 billion. She said she would cut thousands from state payrolls, continue a salary and hiring freeze, combine and privatize some functions, and offer early retirement buyouts to some workers.

But the speech wasn’t all about cuts. Perdue also rolled out several new policy initiatives she says will help keep the state competitive in the future.

Perdue earned a standing ovation from lawmakers for proposing to lower the corporate income tax rate from 6.9 percent to 4.9 percent as a way to attract new business and new jobs to the state.

“This change will push North Carolina to the forefront in growing jobs for our people, and that, my friends, must be the number one priority for every one of us in this chamber tonight,” she said.

Perdue also said her spending plan would include college funding for high school students, a campaign promise she made in 2008. The program, “North Carolina’s Career and College Promise,” would guarantee a two-year college degree to high-school juniors who meet certain criteria.

The governor said the program will help keep students in school.

“For what may be the first time – for many of them or their families – they will have a clear, attainable path to success,” Perdue said. “They will have the ambition to conquer tomorrow. They will be the workforce we depend on to propel our futures.”

Perdue pledged to avoid cutting teacher positions in her budget, and she cautioned lawmakers to do the same.

“I have made deep and painful cuts,” she said. “But there is one thing I will not do – I will not sacrifice our children’s future. We will not eliminate teachers, whose jobs it is to build that future and the future of our state.”

“Hear me now,” she added. “I will not back down from these priorities.”

State of the State 2011 Perdue talks budget, education, job growth in State of State

Perdue’s speech didn’t explain how she intends to pay for her tax cuts and programs, especially given that the state budget is already awash in red ink. Those details should be forthcoming in the governor’s formal budget proposal, expected Thursday.

Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger delivered the official Republican response to the State of the State. He said the GOP will focus on cutting spending, limiting government power and supporting the private sector.

“We heard the voters last November. Government must get out of the way if the private sector is to prosper," Berger said. "Government simply can’t continue spending beyond its means and expect a different result."

Berger also reiterated Republican opposition to extending temporary sales and income taxes as a way of patching up the budget shortfall.

“Governor Perdue promised the tax hikes passed two years ago would be temporary. We will keep her promise, because the best economic stimulus we can provide is letting people and businesses keep more of their own money," he said.

Speaker of the House Thom Tillis was even more blunt on the question of extending those temporary taxes: “We made a promise to the voters of North Carolina. We’re gonna keep it.”

Perdue and Republican leaders have been at odds over a bill that would allow the governor to find at least $400 million in savings in the current year budget, but that would also raid economic development funds Perdue says are vital to recruiting new industry to the state. The governor is expected to veto the measure.

Tillis said Republicans were pleased to hear Perdue say she wouldn’t play partisan politics.

“We’re encouraged to hear that the governor wants to work with us. There’s already something headed to her desk. She can prove that," said Tillis. 

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  • jaydosse Feb 16, 2011

    Terminate the State Supervisory Personnel ( middle management ) who manage less than 3 to 5 people. Most of their jobs were obtained by who they know and not what they have accomplished or know. Once the layoffs start those mentioned above won't have anyone to browbeat or supervise anymore, anyway. The workers will be gone and the high paid clueless "robots" will need to be re programmed. Work is the name of the game and not manipulation of the system.

    I wrote the Governor's office once and she or her staff never even had the courtesy to respond at all. They sure campaigned for votes, however. "Business as usual". Typical politics.

    Next time I am voting for Forest "stump".

    This Governor we now have is either misinformed or clueless about how to manage our great State.

    She certainly pandered to the right wingers during her speech.

  • jaydosse Feb 16, 2011

    Answer and feed back requested

    "Oh does anyone know why the current State Controller and his Associates at OSC ( Office of State Controller ) that he brought with him, still have their jobs?? Rumor has it, that he was once in charge of OSBM ( Office of State Budget and Management ) Very well educated man. Was his position with OSBM connected with our huge deficit in any way???

    I thought promotions and additional important responsibilities were the result of good to great performance".

    OH MY INNOCENCE AND NAIVETE!!!

  • jrfergerson Feb 15, 2011

    In the N&O of 2011-02-15 Gov. Bev Perdue has issued an online budget challenge that allows citizens to figure out how they would balance the budget. It is a formatted list of items allowing the public to vote on how they would “Balance the Budget Challenge with Charlie,” using the interactive site to check off from a series of options listed to balance the projected $2.4 billion shortfall. However, the few options I would suggest to Balance the Budget are not on the list.
    http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/perdue_to_public_draw_your_own_budget#ixzz1E3wRaghF

  • mgriffin Feb 15, 2011

    That's right, every governmet agency appears to be doing the same thing. "Nothing"...waisting the media's time, and the viewers time or at least the ones who choose to actually listen to it.

  • cwood3 Feb 15, 2011

    Hay cuplanuts3, I guess you want my taxes to do up- I've been laid off 15 months ago-froma contract position with no beennies-so no unemployment. I do have apart time job wouking 10 hrs one week-20 one week-and none the next. Thank you Jesus that my wife as a great job-with good benefits. I'm supposed to pay more taxes so you have job security. Our current State budget, just like our federal budget-is unsustainable.

    The Dems got the budget over $20B and are hell bent on keeping it over $20B like it's a red badge of courage.

    Did I mention that our INCOME-our REVENUE-is about $17.5 B. Shazam-what do we do-Dems say-just raise on up those taxes. They've elected us for 100+years-we can do whatever we want and those dummies will keep electing us. -2009-2010.

    Well friends, there's a new sheriff in town. Things will be different now. WE will reduce spending-or die trying. The OLD WAY IS OUT-Bev-you'd better cooperate with the new sheriff or you'll be out too!!!! or anyway!!!

  • I Change This Name Daily Feb 15, 2011

    Just like Obama she talks and never says nothing. - kdavis23

    yeah like golo posters too...

  • WooHoo2You Feb 15, 2011

    Perdue's second State of State offers big plans, few details.
    That's because she has no idea what she's doing!!-lunarwerewolf

    A few more details than the GOP's 'better' heath care plan...

  • independentvoter3 Feb 15, 2011

    "...if you are on welfare or any entitlement program you should not be able to vote. Our forefathers knew that if you out nothing into the systme then you should not be able to say how it is spent. ncguy"

    ncguy, I assume you're talking about those who are fraudulently filling and claiming unemployment/welfare/medicaid benefits? But, to address your point more directly, if the forefather's truly felt that way, wouldn't there be something in the constitution that already addresses your point? Of course, during our "forefather's" day... Americans were much more self sufficient. Not too many supermarkets, gas stations, cars, internet, cell phone usage to get in the way of living... and dieing for that matter.

  • wildcat Feb 15, 2011

    That's because she has no idea what she's doing!!
    lunarwerewolf

    That is exactly what I said.

  • lunarwerewolf Feb 15, 2011

    Perdue's second State of State offers big plans, few details

    That's because she has no idea what she's doing!!

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