Gov. Bev Perdue issued her proposed budget Thursday and Republican legislative leaders soon issued statements essentially dismissing the document as a doorstop.
Republicans' problem: Perdue's budget is built on a 3/4-cent sales tax hike, making much of it unusable in their minds.
Senate leader Phil Berger: "We must break state government’s habit of throwing money at problems and adopt innovative solutions and meaningful reforms. The cycle of irresponsible taxing, borrowing, and spending must stop.”
House Speaker Thom Tillis: “Gov. Perdue’s budget proposal is, disappointingly, more of the same failed approach that led to the fiscal mess the Republican legislative majority inherited. ... It is time we budget responsibly without demanding more from the pockets of our citizens.”
Berger said the timing of the budget's release is also an issue. Because it came out less than a week before the beginning of the legislative session, Berger suggested lawmakers didn't have adequate time to review it. Typically, governors' issue their non-binding proposals weeks before session before lawmakers begin crafting their version.
But it's worth noting that lawmakers likely will find some common ground. Last week, Berger and Perdue issues pleasant statements about each other after agreeing to fund reading improvement programs.