In anticipation of next year’s massive budget deficit, Gov. Perdue issued a request for state agencies to submit their recommendations for cuts ranging from 5 to 15 percent. Per the N&O, the results thus far have not been encouraging.
The agencies were asked to cut their budgets by 5 percent, 10 percent or 15 percent by either dumping or consolidating programs and cutting management, and given an Oct.29 deadline. So far, it appears that most are ignoring the guidelines.
Instead, many are looking to raise revenue.
John W. Smith, the chief state courts administrator, suggested the court system could make up nearly 5 percent by increasing fees and making unspecified reductions but told Perdue’s budget director the judicial branch couldn’t take deeper cuts.
The Department of Insurance didn’t come up with any cuts, either. Instead, the department, which lives on fees, suggested collecting more from insurers, agents, adjusters and others licensed to do business in North Carolina.
Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler flat-out refused to make any suggestions, saying his department has lost 180 jobs in the past 10 years. It doesn’t make sense for the department to offer ideas ahead of the government consolidations that Perdue says she will make and a budget review by lawmakers, Troxler said. “This is putting the cart before the horse,” he said.
Looks like Perdue is not getting much help from the agencies, so she is going to have to show some leadership and develop her state government “consolidation” plan with little input. That should be interesting.