Local Politics

Perdue plans government consolidation

Posted October 5, 2010 5:22 p.m. EDT
Updated December 9, 2010 6:22 a.m. EST

— Facing a projected $3 billion budget deficit next year, Gov. Beverly Perdue said Tuesday that plans are in the works to consolidate state agencies and sell government assets to save money.

Perdue has pushed for more government efficiency since taking office last year, appointing a special task force to search for ways to cut spending and improve operations. She said Tuesday that she would unveil some of her plans after the November election.

"It was a deliberate choice on my part. I've been very quiet about it. We've been talking, thinking, working," she said.

The governor declined to go into specifics, saying she doesn't want to politicize any proposals before the election. Still, she said the overall goal is to transform state government.

"We're moving in the direction of consolidating some of the functions of state government and the elimination of others," she said.

Some of the ideas will need legislative approval, and Perdue said she would hold town meetings across the state to explain her plan and the reasoning behind it.

"I've had a team talking to me every morning. We've had great conversations. We've laughed, and we've cried about some of the things that could be done," she said.

The potential job losses through consolidation of state agencies remains unclear. The focus will be on protecting core services – education, economic development and public safety – but everything will be evaluated, including the future of the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control system.

"I've had an outside evaluator who is almost done with the estimate of the value to sell or consolidate or change the system that exists," Perdue said.

The initiative is separate from Perdue's recent directive that state agencies propose how to cut up to 15 percent of their budgets in the coming year.