RALEIGH -- North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue has cut the pay of all state employees and teachers by half a percent. Perdue signed an executive order Tuesday that says employees will receive 10 hours of flexible time off in exchange for the loss in pay. She said says the move will save $65 million this year, although that's relatively small compared to the $3 billion budget shortfall the state now expects to see this year. Perdue said in a statement she also has identified ways to close the remaining budget gap. She said that will include more special funds, tapping the state's Savings Reserve Account and using federal recovery dollars. The Democrat said the economic crisis has forced her "to make difficult decisions." (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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