Chrissy Pearson, Gov. Bev Perdue's top spokeswoman, loses her job in the Senate budget, which strips 18 other positions out of Perdue's office.
Also on the chopping block, Mark Johnson, the deputy communication's director, Myra Best, a special adviser to Perdue on education, and teacher adviser Dawn Pope.
In all, the Senate budget eliminates eight filled jobs, seven vacant positions, and transfers two jobs to Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton's office. In addition, the budget cuts two Education Cabinet jobs from the state Department of Public Instruction. Though DPI pays for them, the Education Cabinet employees work in Perdue's office.
The Senate proposes to take $1.3 million from Perdue's $4.9 million office budget.
Sen. Andrew Brock, a Davie County Republican, said Perdue's staff is too large, considering she controls other executive branch offices and can use their employees for reinforcement. In February, Perdue had a staff of 69.
The GOP legislature has had its differences with the Democratic governor this year, if the veto count and sniping are any indication.
Brock repeated an objection voiced earlier this month by GOP state chairman Robin Hayes that, in naming Stephen Neuman her senior adviser, she was using state money to pay a campaign consultant. Neuman, a former aide to U.S. senators and Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan, was chief of staff for Barack Obama's presidential campaign in North Carolina.
Brock, who helped craft the budget proposal for Perdue's office, said she does not need several education advisers when she has Bill Harrison running the State Board of Education.
"Your jobs program isn't the jobs in your office," he said.
The Senate budget eliminates one vacant position from Dalton's office, and tells him to find $284,000 savings.
Pearson said Perdue's office is already taking advantage of policy experts other departments, and noted that the Senate cuts the governor's office 20 percent and the General Assembly budget a little more than 2 percent.
"It's interesting that we got hit so hard," she said.