Local Politics

Perdue: Slimmer budget will reflect primary state services

Posted November 5, 2010 4:36 p.m. EDT
Updated November 5, 2010 6:27 p.m. EDT

— Responding to warnings this week from top Republican lawmakers about deep budget cuts next year, Gov. Beverly Perdue said Friday that the final state spending plan would reflect her funding priorities of job creation, education and core services.

Fiscal analysts have projected a budget deficit of more than $3 billion, and Republican leaders in the General Assembly said after their election victories Tuesday that they want to reduce the budget to about $16 billion from the $19 billion spending plan passed in June.

"You eliminate those things that aren't core, and that's tough. It's painful. People will lose some sleep over that. I understand that," Perdue said. "We've had hard times for the last two years. This is nothing new to us. We've made tremendous progress in smart cuts."

Perdue said she plans to meet with Republican leaders in the House and Senate in the coming weeks to discuss their budget priorities.

"This is the new normal, and I believe we'll work together to make good choices," she said. "At the end of the day, there will be a budget that I will sign, and at the end of the day, that budget will reflect the best and the biggest priorities I hope we can put together for North Carolina.

"It's not about Republicans or Democrats," she said.

House Minority Leader Paul Stam, a possible candidate to be the next House speaker, said he looks forward to working with the governor on the budget.

Other GOP leaders aren't ready to cede the high ground after their historic election victories, however.

"I think (Perdue) would be very well advised to go a little bit more than halfway to meet Republicans and try to work out an agenda," said Tom Fetzer, chairman of the state Republican Party.

Watch On the Record with WRAL's David Crabtree at 7:30 p.m. Saturday to hear more from Fetzer, Stam and House Minority Whip Thom Tillis.