As reported by the N&O,the North Carolina State Senate appears to already be rejecting Gov. Perdue’s proposed “payback” to state employees for last year’s unpaid furlough of 10 hours along with her proposed pay increase.
Senate leader Marc Basnight emphasized Tuesday that private sector workers have lost jobs, hours and benefits across the state.“You cannot give raises in that climate,” Basnight said during a news conference with the Senate’s top budget writer, Sen. Linda Garrou of Winston-Salem, and Senate Majority Leader Martin Nesbitt of Asheville – all Democrats.
Payroll and benfit expenses for state employees are the largest expenditure for the state budget. Thus it becomes inevitable that during years of budgetary deficits, worker salaries will be an unavoidable target for cuts or freezes. This episode should hopefully provide a valuable lesson for lawmakers: growing state government involves increasing the number of state workers and the long-term salaries, benefits and pensions that come along with them.