RALEIGH — Gov. Beverly Perdue said Tuesday that state agencies should prepare plans for potential layoffs, even though she said she didn't think they would be necessary.
At a Council of State meeting, Perdue said that personnel managers need to update their procedures for layoffs.
"I want everybody to be prepared," Perdue told reporters afterwards. "I do not anticipate RIFs or layoffs or even four-day work weeks. But I think it does us all justice to be prepared as the economy softens. This is not a paper exercise we are about. Tough decisions are going to be made.
"There are going to be tough decisions by families around their kitchen table, and state government is no different."
Last week, Erskine Bowles, president of the Uuniversity of North Carolina system, raised the possibility of employee furloughs.
Perdue said she was expecting to hear from her Cabinet departments soon on deeper, more specific cuts. She said some of the recommendations made by the agencies, such as closing state prisons, would have no immediate impact. Prison closings could take six months to a year to accomplish.
As a long time Senate budget chairman, Perdue said she could differentiate among real budget-cutting proposals.
"I'm an old dog," she said. "I know those tricks. I want folks to be reasonable. Otherwise I will choose myself. I know how to choose."
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