Following is Together NC’s Statement on Gov. Perdue’s State of the State address:
Our state stands at a crossroads. We recognize that the Governor and other elected officials face a significant challenge in maintaining and building upon our core infrastructure.
But it can be done, even in these trying financial times.
Gov. Perdue hinted at her priorities for her state budget, including preserving education and spurring job creation. These are essential priorities.
However, Gov. Perdue also indicated that her budget would cut thousands of state jobs, privatize and consolidate public services and infrastructure, and cut corporate tax rates.
“[We] are concerned that the Governor did not mention other vital public investments such as access to health care, public safety, and infrastructure.”Moreover, we are concerned that the Governor did not mention other vital public investments such as access to health care, public safety, and infrastructure.
Gov. Perdue, in crafting the first state budget later this week, has the opportunity to demonstrate leadership. She can chart the course for where the legislature should go as they develop their own budget.
Our Governor has choices. She can choose to stand up, to preserve vital public investments such as public schools, community colleges, and public safety. This would be the forward-looking approach, the one that would position our state for economic recovery now and into the future.
Or, she can choose to take the short-term route of illusory quick fixes. This route would put our public investments at risk for decades to come, cost North Carolina jobs and hinder our economic recovery.
The forward-looking approach entails taking a balanced approach to the fiscal crisis and including reformminded revenues in her state budget proposal.
The details of the Governor’s budget remain to be seen but at this juncture, it appears that Governor Perdue is not taking a balanced approach to the state budget. Her State of the State address indicated a heavy reliance on cuts – $2.2 billion in cuts – instead of modernizing the revenue system. This majority cuts approach will cripple our state's economic recovery, now and into the future.
As the details of the Governor’s budget emerge over the next few days, we hope that instead we will see Governor Perdue stand up for North Carolina’s people and communities and take this state forward by taking a balanced approach to the state budget – which means including reform-minded revenue that will allow us to maintain our vital public investments.
Together NC is a broad and diverse collection of 120+ organizations who have come together to promote wise choices for shared prosperity for all North Carolinians.