Local News

Easley Takes Emergency Actions as Budget Crisis Deepens

Posted February 7, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— Gov. Mike Easley invoked emergency powers Thursday to cope with the state's mounting budget crisis, saying he would would not have to cut back government services or jobs.

Easley's plan uses unspent funds to create a $1 billion escrow account to cover the shortfall, which could reach $791 million.

"I'm not saying we're going to use all this money," Easley said. "But we will have it if needed to balance the budget."

The governor said the latest projections show the state's budget deficit will reach $606 million to $741 million by June 30, which is the end of the current fiscal year.

However, a legislative analyst estimated the shortfall would reach $791 million based on current tax revenue information and other economic data. He says the state should be prepared for the numbers to get worse as the state's economy slows down.