In a fifteen minute speech to a crowded room of legislators, press corps, and members of the public, Governor Perdue addressed the state’s economic problems while introducing her political agenda for the coming year.
Her speech began by lamenting the economic woes of North Carolina and reiterated a commitment to reducing the size of government in anticipation of a $3.7 billion budget shortfall for FY2011-12. She also alluded to a potential backlash from special interests in pursuit of this goal.
Perdue then highlighted many issues she felt her administration had done right and spoke at length about her priorities throughout her tenure as governor.
After addressing the fiscal issues facing the state, Perdue revealed her own political agenda for the coming year and stressed a desire for bipartisanship in pursuing her goals.
She detailed a three-part plan which includes:
1. Limiting the session length of the General Assembly: ninety days for the long session and forty-five for the short session. This measure, she stated, would save money and cause legislators to act with “deliberate urgency.” She reported that a single day of the General Assembly being in session costs $50,000.
2. Creating an independent redistricting commission. The Governor’s warming to this idea is not exactly unexpected coming after her party lost control of the General Assembly for the first time in over a century.
3. Increasing transparency of the legislature modeled after her executive branch. This final point was also her most vague. Perdue commented primarily on how well she believes her own agencies to be doing and suggested that the legislative branch follow suit without explaining why the current situation is inadequate.
She then regaled legislators with an arsenal of lofty ideals and idealistic tributes to the roles of their offices and commitment to progress.
While Perdue’s support of trimming down the budget promised “millions and millions in savings,” it does not provide enough specific measures to reconcile such a massive budget gap.
Perdue didn’t stick around to answer questions following her speech.
The highlights of her speech can be found in a video below.