Governor’s office agrees to cut expenses by at least $400 million in current fiscal year

Raleigh – Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) today announced that the North Carolina Senate will take a number of important steps this week to begin the process of closing a $3.7 billion budget deficit.

Senators Pete Brunstetter (R-Forsyth), Neal Hunt (R-Wake), and Richard Stevens (R-Wake) filed The Balanced Budget Act of 2011 Monday evening to grant one-time special budget authority to the governor to cut spending for the remainder of the current fiscal year. Gov. Bev Perdue met with Senate and House leaders on Monday evening to discuss the budget shortfall and an agreement was reached to reduce expenditures by at least $400 million during this time frame.

“We are pleased that the governor requested additional powers to join us in our efforts to rein-in out of control spending and get our state’s fiscal house in order,” said Berger. “We are giving Gov. Perdue these emergency powers in good faith and trust that she will continue to work with us in a bipartisan manner to help solve our state’s budget problems.”

On Tuesday, February 1, there will be a joint Appropriations Committee meeting at 8:30 a.m. in room 643 in the Legislative Office Building to inform members of Senate and House on the details surrounding the current budget situation.

“The Senate’s top priority must be to tackle the $3.7 billion budget deficit and Tuesday’s meeting is a very important first step in that process,” said Sen. Pete Brunstetter (R-Forsyth), co-chair of the Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee.

On Wednesday, February 2, there will be a joint Finance Committee meeting at 8:30 a.m. in room 544 of the Legislative Office Building to review the state’s existing tax structure, revenue forecast and economic climate.

“We are pleased to bring together members of the Senate and House Finance Committees earlier than ever before so that we can take on the challenge of reforming North Carolina’s tax system. This will help stimulate the economy, grow small business and create new jobs so that we can put the people of North Carolina back to work,” said Senator Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg), co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee.

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