Governor Beverly Perdue told reporters today she has already made cuts in the current budget of 3 percent. She said she wanted to slash even more spending but needed the permission of the General Assembly since she hadn’t declared a budget emergency. The Governor said she would submit a request to the legislature for the authority to cut a total of up to 5 percent. The new Senate GOP leader, Senator Phil Berger told reporters Monday he expected the Governor would ask for that permission and indicated the lawmakers would likely go along with the request. Governor Perdue said the deeper cuts would keep another $500 million to $600 million in the bank to ease new budget decisions. Perdue said her budget proposal would be ready by mid-February and it would contain a lot of cuts across a wide paradigm. She also said there would be tax cuts but wouldn’t commit to letting temporary tax cuts expire.
Governor Perdue also told reporters she had identified 150 boards or commissions under her office that could be eliminated. One example she gave was the Rural Electric Authority established many years ago. There are 406 boards and commissions currrently authorized by the Governor’s Office. But she wanted the legislature to make the same decision about 345 board or commissions it oversees. She admitted it wouldn’t save a lot of money but said it would be part of a new reconfiguration of state government.