RALEIGH: McCrory directs belt-tightening - WNCN: News, Weather

McCrory directs belt-tightening

Posted: Updated:
Gov. Pat McCrory Gov. Pat McCrory
RALEIGH, N.C. - Gov. Pat McCrory asked Thursday for more belt-tightening within North Carolina government as pre-emptive actions to protect the state from a Medicaid shortfall and a fuzzy revenue picture.
    
In a memorandum to state agencies and their leaders, the governor said that while the state's fiscal picture is much improved compared to a year ago, "the state still needs to exercise restraint for the remainder of the fiscal year" ending June 30. He wrote a similar directive in March 2013.
    
McCrory's state budget office this week projected Medicaid expenditures could be up to $140 million above the revenues authorized by the General Assembly this year for the program. While revenue collections are largely on track to cover this year's budget and slightly above revenues from a year ago, "there is revenue uncertainty for the remainder" of the year, the governor wrote.
    
McCrory said nearly all state agencies would receive funds in April that's more in line with actual monthly spending since last July. He also ordered his Cabinet-level agencies to discontinue most salary increases, limit purchases, reduce travel expenses and reconsider contract work. The restrictions don't apply to Medicaid and other entitlement programs, as well as public schools.
    
"By taking this prudent action now, the state can fulfill its duty to our citizens and avoid taking more severe action in the closing weeks of this fiscal year," he said in the memo.
    
Agencies led by other members of the Council of State - the attorney general and state treasurer among them - aren't required to follow the spending requests because McCrory hasn't declared a budget emergency, state Budget Director Art Pope said. That's because there's currently enough money in reserves and elsewhere to cover expenses. Still, Pope said, council agencies will receive monthly funds at the reduced rate. Council members were being alerted by phone to the directive.
    
This year's budget included another $214 million for the state's savings reserve and $324 million that wasn't appropriated, the memo said.
    
"Right now I'm happy to say the state budget is in balance and healthy," Pope said, but promoting efficiency now will prevent scrambling later in the spring should the Medicaid gap widen or tax collections fall. Lawmakers and the McCrory administration are keeping a close eye on April 15 tax payments, which disproportionately affects the revenue and budget outlook.
    
Pope said he's hopeful none of the spending restrictions will affect day-to-day government operations. Holding back on cash could make it easier to fill any budget holes. The General Assembly would have to pass legislation for McCrory to spend the unappropriated money from this year's budget. The legislature returns in mid-May for its annual work session, which includes adjusting the second year of the two-year budget. Any shortfall this year would affect adjustments for next year's $21 billion budget.
    
A year ago, McCrory wrote a similar memo to agencies when the shortfall was estimated to be as high as $262 million, nearly all related to Medicaid. The legislature ultimately had to pass legislation for the governor to spend funds to close a Medicaid budget that reached $484 million.
    
To point out the state's relative fiscal health, McCrory wrote the state was paying tax refunds on a timely basis and had a cash balance of $771 million as of Wednesday, compared with $436 million a year ago.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
  • PoliticsMore>>

  • NC flags lowered on day of Fulghum service

    NC flags lowered on day of Fulghum service

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:11 AM EDT2014-07-23 09:11:02 GMT
    A first-term North Carolina legislator who died last weekend will be formally remembered within state government and at the church he attended for decades.
    A first-term North Carolina legislator who died last weekend will be formally remembered within state government and at the church he attended for decades.
  • NC counties see sales tax changes in Senate bill

    NC counties see sales tax changes in Senate bill

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:46:55 GMT
    File PhotoFile Photo
    Four large North Carolina counties would see their authority to raise sales taxes scaled back in Senate legislation that its Republican supporters say would level the playing field across the state in generating revenue.
    Four large North Carolina counties would see their authority to raise sales taxes scaled back in Senate legislation that its Republican supporters say would level the playing field across the state in generating revenue.
  • State: Ex-Tarboro town manager used funds inappropriately

    State: Ex-Tarboro town manager used funds inappropriately

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:10 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:10:06 GMT

    The state auditor’s report determined that the former town manager “made nearly $366,000 of purchases" that were inappropriate.

    The state auditor’s report determined that the former town manager “made nearly $366,000 of purchases" that were inappropriate.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Teen mom charged after baby found buried at Louisburg home

    Teen mom charged after baby found buried at Louisburg home

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:44:25 GMT
    Ashley Reed, 16, of Louisburg is charged with concealing a death after her infant was found buried beside her house.
    Ashley Reed, 16, of Louisburg is charged with concealing a death after her infant was found buried beside her house.
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
  • Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:08:35 GMT
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.