State News

State agencies asked to plan for more budget cuts

Posted January 12, 2010 1:23 p.m. EST
Updated January 12, 2010 7:02 p.m. EST

State budget

— State Budget Director Charlie Perusse has called on state agencies to prepare budgets for the fiscal year that starts in July that anticipate cuts of 3 to 7 percent.

Perusse said in his memo that some departments could argue for as much as a 3 percent increase in funding, depending on their requests and funding sources.

Gov. Beverly Perdue said Tuesday that her budget office has been working for months to collect information on expenses that appear every year in state government spending plans. Previously, she said, her budget-writers didn't have enough information to determine what the specific lines in the budget paid for and whether they were useful or wasteful.

Perdue and her budget staff plan to work during this holiday weekend reviewing the details to find possible cuts, but she noted that she's frustrated that departments aren't offering up permanent reductions.

"I'm going to look as hard as I can for things that are either duplicative, things that have outlived their purpose and things that were simply somebody's pet project that really don't have a purpose and get rid of them," she said.

The governor said the scrutiny will provide more options to free up money after deep spending cuts last summer.

Perdue will present a budget proposal to lawmakers when they reconvene in May.