State News

New governor faces economic woes from Day 1

Posted January 12, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— Between her victory speech in November and her inauguration last Saturday, the job of governor got tougher for Bev Perdue.

From her first day on the job, Perdue will face challenges to come through on her campaign promises. The nationwide economic downturn means the new governor walks into a big budget mess.

Gov. Beverly Perdue Perdue: Economic, budget solutions won't make everybody happy

North Carolina lost a greater percentage of jobs in October and November than any state in the country.

The State Health Plan needs a $300 million bailout.

Every monthly budget statement shows state revenue sinking along with the economy.

"It's as bad in my mind as it's been anytime since the Great Depression," Perdue said Monday.

The state will need to weather the storm with a combination of spending cuts and raising revenue.

"It won't be pretty," she admitted. "Nobody will be happy."

Each state department is being asked to provide budget proposals with suggested cuts for 3, 5 and 7 percent.

The new governor will head to Washington, D.C, Wednesday to lobby for federal stimulus money to get approved projects off the ground.

Administration Secretary Britt Cobb said Monday that programs and people are on the line. "I would say in all probability that there will some positions that will be eliminated."

Elaine Mejia, of the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, thinks the new governor will be forced to consider new taxes.

"Unless lawmakers are willing to cut the heart out of state government, they'll need to produce more revenue," she said.

"The budget shortfall this year and (in) another couple of years is going to be so large, it's going to require having these kinds of discussions that you don't have to have when times are good," she said.

Plenty of lawmakers disagree, saying now is the worst time to consider new taxes.

Perdue did not offer specifics Monday.

"It just really hurts me to think about any of those discussions," Perdue said. "I'm not naïve enough to say 'never' to anything. I don't know, but I have a requirement to balance the budget."

Before her inauguration, the governor acknowledged that some of her plans would have to be put on hold, but said she remains committed to offering free access to community college.

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  • DRA Jan 12, 2009

    "It won't be pretty," she admitted. "Nobody will be happy." wow nobodys happy now dosent sound like anything is going to change other than the face !!!!!!!!!!

  • retired and luv it Jan 12, 2009

    Try cutting just half the waste in state government and you will be swimming in money.

  • davidecu Jan 12, 2009

    As LT governor you saw this 12 to 18 months ago and promised the moon in your election , now you are faced with what all NC workers/ businesses are faced with, I see no govt. jobs cut , take control and cut the govt. work force , labor is your biggest cost.

  • bs101fly Jan 12, 2009

    she understands "fundementals" so she'll do just fine.
    Since she's not really sure of her first name that could be a problem though.

  • Eduardo1 Jan 12, 2009

    Take your birthday party "donations" of $500-10,000, put it in to the general funds. We know that it will find its way back to you and your husband to pay the $900,000 that you loaned your campaign fund

  • davidgnews Jan 12, 2009

    New governor faces economic woes from Day 1

    Lead and inspire, or get out of the way !

  • pbjbeach Jan 12, 2009

    In my personal opinion she is just another political whore just like the rest of the state politicians rep's an dems because they are so beholding to the special instrest groups an big business that they have had to basically had to sll their souls an the taxpayers out to get elected to office in the first palce thank you

  • pbjbeach Jan 12, 2009

    I personnaly feel sorry for the state employees but thi statement doens't include upper mangement only the worker bees. if Bev would quit allowing the waste fraud an abuse of the funding that the various department recevive an the give aways to the betterment of the special instrest that she an sleazley are undoubtably beholding to then there would be the need for them to continue to balance the state budget on the back of the worker bees in the employment of state government . i'll bet one thing an that is that school teacher wont take a hit in this whole budget balance act . an that is exactly what i beleive that it is an act for the treasury receives tax revenues everyday in raleigh. it is just like prego it is in there all they need to do is to go an pull open another drawer somewhere an it will probably be jamed ful; of money

  • georgiat28 Jan 12, 2009

    Perdue said nobody will be happpy. Perdue, she will be happy cuz she is making life miserable for state employees. Is that why she grins so much?

  • OhYeah Jan 12, 2009

    Honey, We (taxpayers) don't have it (money) to give to you. Enough is enough.Stop asking.

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