Governor to announce state budget cuts

Governor Beverly Perdue speaks to reporters

April 20, 2010 4:09:08 AM PDT
Leaders in Wake and other counties across the state are at somewhat of a standstill until the governor announces her budget.

Governor Bev Perdue is set to unveil her proposed adjustments to a nearly $20 billion spending plan Tuesday. The budget was approved last summer.

The governor's budget apparently reflects her emphasis on education.

Legislative writers indicate the governor is focused on improvements to the state's public education, along with mental health systems. However, the state will need to cut $1 billion in spending to help pay for them.

Wake County Commissioners Chairman Tony Gurley says cuts at the state level mean extra costs for the county.

"We've identified $2 million in costs that we're now required to cover that in previous years we were not able to recover," Gurley said. "For example, Wake County is now forced to cover the cost of housing parole officers. They are state employees, it's a state function, yet Wake County now has to cover their office space."

Covering new costs is not something anyone in the county wants to take on, especially as people are fighting to save programs that have been in place for years.

Some residents want to save a mental health clinic, while others would like to save the Garner library.

"Can you imagine peanut butter without jelly," Mayor of Garner Ronnie Williams said. "Can you imagine Christmas without Santa Claus? Can you imagine Garner without a library?

Meanwhile, Wake County has had a hiring freeze in place for a year now. It'll likely stay in place as the state budget is cut and the county will have to make additional cuts too.

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