Tillis' budget game: Finders keepers

Posted February 12, 2013

— House Speaker Thom Tillis on Tuesday laid out his strategy for budget cuts: Finders keepers. 

Tillis says the latest consensus revenue forecast will give state budget writers an additional $106 million to work with this year. But he confirmed that state agencies are still being asked to cut 2 percent from their budgets across the board.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in this room that would argue that this state is running at 100 percent efficiency,” he said at a news conference. “We’re looking for ways to reduce or eliminate inefficiencies, and the only way you do that is to challenge the folks out in government to look at how they can do more with less.”

“What I’ve tried to tell every agency in this state that I’ve met with (is) we’re going to play a game of 'finders keepers,'" he said.

“If these agencies come forward with recommendations to run more efficiently, we’re going to find a way to let them keep those efficiencies and put them into strategic projects, repairs and renovations, whatever they want to,” he said. “However, if we have to work to find the efficiencies, they’re probably not going to keep those cuts.”

House Speaker Thom Tillis Tillis discusses issues before House

“We’re asking them to think differently. We’re asking them to think about productivity,” Tillis explained. “The problem in the past is, when a good idea for productivity would come down, they’d say, ‘Well, I want to do it, but if I do, they’re going to cut my funding,’ and it’s created bad behaviors.

“So we’re going to give them an opportunity to find these efficiencies, but make no mistake about it – if we are the ones who ultimately have to find it, then we can no longer trust that leader to find these things in his or her agency. Therefore, we will probably claw back funding until we can establish that trust.

“I would challenge everybody at every level,” he concluded. “Get within your organization, find efficiencies and know that, as far as the House is concerned, you’ll be rewarded for doing that.

“And if you don’t, you’ll be giving me some money to spend somewhere else."


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  • miseem Feb 12, 2013

    Hate to break it ot a lot of you people, but in addition to the 6% state employees pay for retirement, the state kicks in a big chunk. Even under the GOP for the last two years. And I can't complain about the salaries most of them make - it's basically minimum wage. At least while they are in the GA. And the last pay raise was not 1%.It was 1.2% That's $40 a month for someone making $40,000 per year, and first raise in several years. Of course now state employees have to pay more than that on health insurance and much more on higher deductibles and spend an arm and a leg to cover family or spouses. It used to be OK since they could lay back and read the newspaper all day and not work. But have you seen a newspaper recently?

  • Plenty Coups Feb 12, 2013

    "Some people just don't know any better, and would be happy as a clam to relieve you of your hardships."

    Right, state workers should just grin and bear it and never ask for raises-just so you don't have to pay more in taxes, right? While the private sector sees raises of 1.5-4% on average per year, state workers should never get raises...unless you're friends with McCrory. Then you may be entitled to a modest raise of...say 8%.

  • Plenty Coups Feb 12, 2013

    "There was a modest raise of 6-13K for a FEW positions that aided with hiring the level of talent needed to run large departments properly"

    LOL. Modest raises. While state workers have been given 1% "less than modest raises" over the last 5 years you can't justify this no matter how much you try to spin and twist it.

  • FlagWavingFascistCrank Feb 12, 2013

    Tillis is gittin' within HIS organization, known as ALEC....and they'll be rewarding him for his help in having their legislation passed in NC, and he'll get money to spend somewhere else.

    Terry Sanford and William Friday are spinning in their graves....

  • TVs_Deceit Feb 12, 2013

    There's no hypocrisy here geosol, other than your blindness to the facts in order to put forth a false claim.

    All those complaining about staff raises.. McCrory's staff salaries are on track to be lower than Perdue's. His chief of staff's salary is 8% lower than Perdue's chief. Policy adviser Tony Almeida is making $135,000 annually, while his predecessor made $155,848.

    There was a modest raise of 6-13K for a FEW positions that aided with hiring the level of talent needed to run large departments properly. Properly is the key word.

    Currently 38 people have been hired for the Governor's Office, while early in Perdue's administration, 70 people were hired.

    All in all.. McCrory is spending FAR less than Perdue. It's his goal to spend less than Gov. Perdue, and he's made a concerted effort to do so, and so far the new hires are being paid less than what Perdue paid.

  • geosol Feb 12, 2013

    HYPOCRITE, thy name is REPUBLICAN!

  • TVs_Deceit Feb 12, 2013

    It's disconcerting that State employees are forced to suffer under such onerous circumstances.

    You are too good to suffer such insults. You should all just quit and make room for the people who aren't aware that these circumstances are a burden.

    Some people just don't know any better, and would be happy as a clam to relieve you of your hardships.

  • TVs_Deceit Feb 12, 2013

    Repeat after me: "Fiscal Responsibility"

  • dirtydozen431 Feb 12, 2013

    Landslides have conseqences.

  • dirtydozen431 Feb 12, 2013

    Happy days are near again