RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) -- Gov. Bev Perdue is dealing with a budget deficit of more than $2 billion dollars so cuts will be made, but the question is what will face the chopping block?
In the her second State of the State address, Perdue spoke about her budget. It will include the consolidation of 12 state agencies into eight and the privatization of some state agencies. However, Perdue vowed to spare education and jobs. She says without the two, there's no hope for North Carolina's future generations.
Perdue says the state is not what it was 24 months ago.
"We squared up and put the bat to our shoulders and we swung hard and two years later North Carolina is winning at that game," said Perdue.
North Carolina was forced to do more with less two years ago and while times are still tough Perdue refuses to eliminate more jobs for North Carolinians.
"Right now, in North Carolina we have the highest corporate tax rate in the Southeast that means our businesses are paying more taxes when they could be creating jobs," she said. "That's a strike against us from day one as we work to convince businesses that North Carolina is the best value for them and their company."
Perdue says the core of a state's economy comes from small businesses. She's now fighting for a tax relief and is asking the General Assembly to lower the corporate tax rate to 4.9 percent. If she gets what she wants, the rate would be the lowest in the Southeast.
Another core value she's fighting for is education.
"Teachers are using hand held devices all over the state to determine what a child needs to know so that child can get the help needed before he or she falls so far behind they'll never be able to catch up," she said.
Snipes Academy in Wilmington is one school using the hand held devices. In an effort to get every child in the state to graduate from high school, Perdue is initiating the North Carolina Career and College Promise, which would provide a two year scholarship to certain high school students. Perdue says she wants to make sustainable changes for the state and it all begins with a solid education for every North Carolinian.
"These days our economy is driven by knowledge instead of muscle so as the state transforms government must adapt," she said. "It's the only way to continue our progress."
Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and Speaker of the House Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) delivered the Republican response to Gov. Perdue’s State of the State address on Monday night.
"Though the policies championed by the governor and Democratic lawmakers may sound appealing, they have proven ineffective, irresponsible, and costly," said Berger. "The result - North Carolina has the highest taxes in the southeast, nearly 10 percent unemployment, and a record-high, multi-billion dollar deficit."
Republicans say they welcome the ideas of Gov. Perdue and the citizens of how to make government more responsible and less intrusive.