The following is from the Governor’s Communication Desk:
The short session budget adjustments Gov. Perdue announced this morning reflect a state facing continued fiscal challenges. As you know the next few years will be challenging, even though North Carolina’s economy is on the road to recovery.
The governor’s proposed budget prepares North Carolina to take off as the economy improves by recommending strategic investments in creating jobs, ensuring every student graduates high school prepared for success, setting government straight and building safer and healthier communities.
Here are a few of the highlights:
- $86 million for several key investments in assistance to small businesses and infrastructure that will help create 35,000 jobs over the next three years.
- $39 million for hand-held technology in grades k-3 and grade 5, so children can get individualized attention before they fall behind in school.
- Funding to pay back teachers and state employees for the salary reduction taken to balance the FY 2008-09 budget.
- An initiative to crack down on Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse, which is estimated to save more than $35 million in 2010-11.
- $8.5 million to provide health insurance to an additional 8,100 children in working families. (OR $10 million to expand the Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Automated Data Services project, which will merge all criminal records into one interactive and comprehensive system.)
These investments will bolster our state’s recovery and help ensure North Carolina emerges from this recession as the best place in the world to live and work.
But the reality is, tough choices pervade this budget. The budget recommends cutting almost $1 billion in spending and more than 600 positions, for a total of more than 15 percent in spending cuts since Gov. Perdue took office. It reduces or eliminates more than 70 programs that are unnecessary or inefficient, saving taxpayers $190 million. And it reserves $100 million to replenish the state’s rainy day fund.
You can find Gov. Perdue’s complete budget recommendations are available online, at http://www.osbm.state.nc.us/.