Gov. Perdue met with legislative budget writers, urging them to spend more one-time money on recurring expenses. Legislative leaders rejected her proposals.
Perdue described her proposal as “modest.” Her office would not release it or provide details.
According to the copy provided by lawmakers’ staff titled “Budget Talking Points,” Perdue proposed taking $100 million from the “rainy day” reserve fund and the repair and renovations fund.
Perdue’s short-sighted proposal was rightly rejected, as it would have further shrunk the already woefully underfunded state rainy day fund , which at last count had less than $300 million in it. Furthermore, using one-time money to fund recurring obligations (like they did with the federal stimulus dollars) is the type of band-aid fix that has caused so many of our current budgetary problems. But then again, why should Perdue care? She’ll be long gone by the time a new budget needs to be written next year.
Perdue’s largest request for additional expenditures was another $76 million for K-12 public schools. The budget approved by the General Assembly would allocate $7.51 B in state funds for K-12 public schools, whereas Perdue’s plan set aside $7.599 B for schools. The difference between the two plans is about 1.2%, or roughly 60 bucks per student. When adding in federal and local support for the public schools, however, total spending comes to about $9.5 B – so the $76 million Perdue is fighting over is about eight-tenths of one percent of public school spending.