Local Politics

Perdue orders state agencies to cut again

Posted August 14, 2009 6:23 p.m. EDT
Updated August 15, 2009 7:37 a.m. EDT

— A week after signing a $19 billion state budget, Gov. Bev Perdue issued an executive order late Friday mandating a 5 percent cut affecting all state agencies.

"Although there has been some improvement in the state's fiscal outlook, there still remains a level of uncertainty," the order stated. "It is important to continue to exercise fiscal restraint."

The decision could save the state $1 billion.

The order allows “special exceptions may be made for constitutionally mandated or entitlement programs, as well as urgent situations related to direct classroom instruction, economic development opportunities, law enforcement, health care and public safety.”

House Minority Leader Paul Stam said the governor’s decision to slash the budget means doing more with less.

“Everybody in state government will have 5 percent more work to do without additional resources. So the state employees will have some hardship. The teachers will have a little bit more work to do, but we can do it. We’ve all been in this situation for about the last year,” Stam said.

Stam said he believes there is still more fat to trim from the budget.

Republican Sen. Richard Stevens said the governor did the prudent thing if it appears the state is spending more than it makes in revenues.

The budget decrease will remain in effect until further notice, the order stated.

Stam said he plans to visit six cities next week to explain the tax increases in the budget. He, along with Sen. Phil Berger and state GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer, will stop in Burlington, Lexington, Salisbury, Kinston, New Bern and Little Washington.