Meanwhile, the Senate Appropriations Committee this afternoon announced a plan for more cuts -- including taking $67 million
Perdue said Wednesday afternoon the cuts would make it hard to recruit jobs and expand businesses. In a statement this afternoon, she said:
“The proposed cuts to North Carolina’s jobs and economic development funds will damage our ability to recruit new jobs and to expand existing businesses in the state. Other Southern states, notably Virginia, have called for an increase in similar funds so they can take our jobs away.
"I am truly surprised that Senate leadership is considering taking North Carolina’s jobs money as a way to balance the budget. It won’t work – and what’s more, our people won’t work if we can’t bring new companies and new industries to our state. We have many hundreds of new jobs in the pipeline right now, and they depend on that money. If we don’t win those projects, those jobs go somewhere else. It’s that simple.”
The legislature is off to a very fast start, and it is moving to make whatever cuts it can now to get a handle on the worse budget shortfall in memory. No one disputes that covering the shortfall is going to cause some pain. The governor's reaction today to the advance cuts is just the first of a number of reactions to various cuts from those directly affected as lawmakers and the governor try to find the right formula to cut the budget. It's worth noting that Perdue did not say she was against all the cuts -- just the ones she thinks will affect the state's ability to recruit jobs. Many Republicans, on the other hand, are doubtful that spending tax money on economic development is all that effective in recruiting jobs.
4:20 p.m. update from Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger's office:
“We are actively tackling next year’s budget shortfall through savings and reductions in the current fiscal year,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham.) “These cuts represent immediate steps to help close the gap between spending and revenue. While everything remains on the table, it is our belief these measures will minimize negative impacts to our classroom teachers and state employees.”