Updated 12/22/2010 05:08 PM
Perdue administration directs more cost savings
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RALEIGH – The hits keep coming for state departments and agencies. After several years of big budget cuts, Governor Bev Perdue is asking for them to find another 2.5 percent to get rid of.
In a memo sent out by State Budget Director Charles Perusse, department heads and chief fiscal officers were told: "This annualized 2.5 percent savings to your certified budget is in addition to the 1 percent Management Flexibility Reduction outlined in our budget guidance memorandum dated August 24, 2010."
Last week, Perusse told lawmakers steps like this are necessary to have money in the bank account at the end of the year.
“As it relates to the current year, and we will focus on that, we are holding back,” says Perusse. “We are anticipating reversion from every state agency.”
Some advocacy groups say with the deep cuts that agencies and departments have seen over the past two years, this new cut, could simply be too much.
“The Governor and the state agencies really need to be careful that it doesn't compromise the ability of agencies to do their work,” says Edwin McLenaghan of the NC Justice Center.
He says he is especially concerned with the part of the memo that says vacant positions need to stay open.
“State agencies need resources, including people to do work,” says McLenaghan. “So leaving a lot of vacancies open runs the risk of state agencies not being able to do their missions.”
Perdue does not have control of budgets for agencies where their head is elected, such as the Attorney General's Office, or the Department of Agriculture. Nor does she have the authority to tell the UNC or Community College Systems to make these cuts.