Temporary budget forces NCHP cuts

July 1, 2009 5:25:36 AM PDT
Eyewitness News learned Tuesday the NC Highway Patrol is cutting helicopter flights to cut costs by 15 percent over the next 15 days.However, the chopper can be used if it is needed in a life saving situation.

The Highway Patrol also stopped traveling for training, stopped buying cars and stopped hiring.

Despite a trooper shortage, the agency doesn't know if the cadet school will go on as planned in August.

Job cuts will be up to the head of each state agency, and all agencies have to cut costs while the temporary spending bill is in place.

In public school, deeper cuts mean uncertainty for so many.

"It's very stressful," said Allyson Young, Millbrook High School teacher. "And to think that most times most people think of education as a very safe job. I've been teaching for 17 years. And I've never seen anything like this."

As many as 1,500 Wake County Public Schools employees are worried about their jobs. They've been working on year-to-year contracts, and they don't know if the next budget will have money for them.

"Many of the people you are thinking of have families," Millbrook teacher Julie Seeper said. The House and the Senate are still figuring out how to raise the $1.5 billion Governor Perdue wants to protect the classroom.

The argument is over which taxes to raise, which to lower and just how many more services can be taxed to meet the Governor's goals.

Some feel the cuts are taxing on too many families and too many lives.

Some lawmakers are more optimistic than others that they will come up with a final budget before the 15-day temporary spending plan expires.

If there is no budget at that time, they can adopt the same plan for another two weeks.

Governor Perdue has cleared her calendar this week to meet with the General Assembly and work out a final budget deal.


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