Republican legislators propose spending $17.56 billion next year. A far cry from the roughly $19 billion Gov. Bev Perdue would spend in her proposed budget.
Republican leaders handed out spending targets to House and Senate Appropriation Committees today with guidance on where to look for savings. Chief among them: consolidate and/or eliminate Smart Start and More at Four, cap university enrollment and consolidate various functions.
“No decisions have been made. No specific positions or programs have been targeted,” said Phil Berger, Senate President Pro-Tem. “We were elected to reduce spending and right-size state government. This is the first step in that process.”
The belt-tightening encompasses all areas of government and differs sharply from Perdue's proposal.
For instance, Republicans would spend $10.5 billion on education, compared to Perdue's $11.2 billion. They would spend $4.3 billion on Health and Human Services while Perdue would spend $4.7 billion.
“The spending targets announced today come at a time when decisive action is required to put North Carolina’s fiscal house in order,” said Speaker Thom Tillis. “The new majority in the General Assembly did not create this budget shortfall, but we were elected to fix it. To do so, we have announced aggressive targets to reign in state spending, which has ballooned over the last decade. Everything is on the table as we look for creative solutions to this problem.”