Major government shakeup by Governor Perdue?

Governor Beverly Perdue

October 6, 2010 5:43:33 PM PDT
As the state faces a $3 billion to $4 billion budget shortfall, Governor Bev Perdue says she is going to refine the way government works.The first news of change came Tuesday, when Perdue told the Council of State that consolidations and eliminations were on the way.

"You know it's coming, we all know it's coming," Perdue said. "Tearing down the old structures, the duplications, even the technology, you know, there are so many things we can do differently."

But that promise means different things to different groups.

"We need to have those efficiencies, but we don't need to focus all on one area," said Toni Davis with the State Employee's Association. "We need to look at all areas of government."

Davis says there is a concern that the cuts will fall heavily on the state's 55,000 state workers.

"We do feel like we've been cut to the bone and asked to do more with less," Davis said.

In the meantime, some conservatives are applauding the idea of potential major cuts in government.

"We're certainly on board," said Brian Balfour with Civitas. "I await with bated breath to see the details."

Others critics say they wonder if it's even possible for the ship to change course if the same people are at the helm.

"Governor Perdue has, when she has had a chance, has rewarded long time allies in state government," said Mitch Kokai with the John Locke Foundation.

Recent examples of that have been Senator David Hoyle being appointed tax secretary.

Perdue also created a $90,000 a year job at the Department of Public Instruction for Bill Harrison after the courts struck down a similar position the governor was going to put him in and long-time Senator Tony Rand sits on the Parole Commission.

"Governor Perdue wants us to believe that these people will say, 'Oh, we need major changes, major cutbacks, it's time to fundamentally reform the way we do business,'" Kokai said.

Meanwhile, the governor says more specifics will be released sometime in early November.

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