Just yesterday, I blogged about one of Gov. Perdue’s senior advisers warning that two to three thousand state employee jobs may be cut this year due to another massive budget deficit. I concluded with this comment:
That last line no doubt triggered an emergency alarm at SEANC headquarters.
Those SEANC folks must have given the Governor’s office an earful yesterday. As mentioned in Under the Dome, the Governor’s office has already backtracked and is attempting to spin out of those comments:
A Wilmington Star-News story quoted a senior aide to Gov. Bev Perdue official warning yesterday of 2,000 to 3,000 layoffs of state employees in the next fiscal year. (emphasis mine)
Not so, said Perdue Communications Director Chrissy Pearson. She said Perdue and her chief lobbyist, Andy Willis, both spoke to the N.C. Metropolitan Mayors Coalition meeting in Wilmington and talked about how the state has shed that many jobs over the past year.
“There are no plans to cut state employees,” Pearson said, though she cautioned that the administration is always looking for program efficiencies that could eliminate some jobs.
But let’s re-examine Willis’ comment: “Two thousand to 3,000 employees will probably lose their jobs,” he told the mayors.”
What part of “will probably lose” implies the past tense?
Sounds more like the Governor’s office is desperately trying to appease a powerful lobby. The reality is, with employee payroll & benefits being far and away the largest segment of the state budget (roughly 60-65%); any significant cutbacks will have to include decreasing state employees.