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Opinion Coalition of 120+ groups: Gov. Perdue must use leadership

A coalition of more than 120 North Carolina groups today delivered a letter to Gov. Beverly Perdue calling on her to “take a balanced approach” to the state’s budget crisis, including reform of the state’s outdated revenue system.

Together NC, a coalition of nonprofit groups, service providers, advocates and grassroots organizations, urged Gov. Perdue to exercise leadership on the budget and reject a jobkilling, cuts-only approach.

“To pave a path to the future, you must take a balanced approach to our state’s fiscal crisis, which includes raising revenue,” the letter said. “And not just any revenue, but revenue solutions that are adequate, stable and fair.”

The coalition asked the governor to “stand up for North Carolina” by preserving funding for vital public investments. All options, the letter said, should be on the table.

That includes reforming the state’s revenue system, which was last updated in the 1930s.

“As you craft your budget, we strongly urge you to stand up for the kind of North Carolina we want to live in, now and into the future,” the letter said. “Put all options on the table, including new, reform-minded revenue.”

North Carolina stands at a crossroads between two choices, said Louisa Warren, one of Together NC’s co-coordinators.

“We need Gov. Perdue and other policymakers to make the right choice to solve this fiscal crisis,” said Warren, a policy advocate with the NC Justice Center. “One choice, a cuts-only approach, will put us back decades. The other choice, a balanced approach, will move North Carolina forward on the road to recovery.”

Studies have shown that balancing the budget using cuts alone would cost tens of thousands of jobs, cripple the state’s economy, and leave North Carolina’s families without critical services in a time of crisis.

Together NC believes this is unacceptable, said coalition cocoordinator Rob Thompson.

“In our last budget crisis, Gov. Perdue showed leadership that helped us avoid the worst impacts of the recession,” said Thompson, who is executive director of the Covenant With North Carolina’s Children. “Today more than ever, we need governor to stand up for North Carolina to preserve our state’s future.”

The full text of the letter is available at

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