With an estimated budget gap of $2.4 Billion for 2012, residents might think that Governor Purdue would be searching high and low for ways to close the gap. The State can’t run deficits like the federal government, so in the end, Purdue has to cut something, why not this?
Senate Bill 13 (SB13) would have narrowed the spending gap by $540 million. It did so with $400 million in cuts that Purdue said she would support, and the remainder from three special funds that she did not want to see touched: funds that are spent at her discretion. The three funds are the Golden Leaf Foundation, One North Carolina Fund, and the Job Development Investment Grant.
Republicans are saying that they won’t attempt to override the veto – why should they? The part of the bill she is fighting against is traditionally a Republican play. The money being fought over is used to lure companies into the state by giving them grants, tax breaks, construction funds, etc.
“This bill started out as a way to help North Carolina secure $400 million in additional savings from state government agencies during this difficult budget time,” Perdue said in a statement. “I suggested that bill to the General Assembly and was ready to sign that legislation. But the bill in its current form forces a one-time cash-grab from funds that are intended to create jobs and spur economic development. That’s not the right move for North Carolina, where jobs simply must be our No. 1 priority.” – From WRAL.com
Tax cuts and public money for corporations, or “corporate welfare” has been something that the left typically rails against. They would prefer to see that money spent on the poor, not companies. This is trickle-down economics at its core! Is Bev Purdue channeling Reagan? No.
Purdue is perhaps realizing that if the economy turns around and the job situation gets better, she must be able to take credit. The only way she can do that is if she was personally responsible for bringing in new employers. This is the cheese with which she intends to catch corporate mice. If she no longer controls the cheese, she no longer controls the message.
Another possibility is cronyism – not with the corporations, but the three organizations/funds that would have lost hundreds of millions of dollars and possibly become defunct.
It just isn’t really clear why she did it and North Carolinians have to hope she can find that $540 million and another $1.85 Billion to avoid massive layoffs and shutdowns.