Governor Bev Perdue said her first year in office was a tough one for her, and for North Carolina. On Tuesday, she discussed the past, present and future during a media round table at the Governor's mansion. With the North Carolina Christmas tree as a backdrop, Governor Bev Perdue reflected on the gifts and burdens of her first year in office. "This has been a really hard, challenging year for the people of North Carolina and for business and obviously for state government,” Perdue said. Perdue took office facing a $2.5 billion budget deficit, a figure that nearly doubled by spring, forcing big cuts across state government and largely monopolizing her time. "It was hard for me to do many new programs,” Perdue said. The Governor already has a new program slated for the new year, an education initiative called Ready Set Go, which she hopes will cut the state's high school drop-out rate. "There will be a way for North Carolina to continue to be a preeminent educational leader, as we make sure that every kid stays on grade level,” she said. While the Governor said creating jobs is a definite priority for the new year, she had no clear-cut answers about any initiatives to create more jobs in southeastern North Carolina. "I'm trying hard to bring jobs any where I can. Right now any job is better than no jobs,” Perdue said. The Governor pointed to GE's nuclear work in Castle Hayne, marine science and technology research at UNCW and the tens of thousands of people expected across the region in the next few years as part of the base realignment program at Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg. Now with challenges still ahead in year two, Perdue says she learned a fundamental lesson in year one. "Innovation and change is much harder than any of us ever believed it would be,” Perdue said. The Governor also said she will continue to try and increase transparency in government. Click here to watch the complete interview with Bev Perdue.
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