RALEIGH — Some big decisions have been made by lawmakers this year, and more have been proposed to them next year. With that being the case, Gov. Perdue is getting a head start on next year's budget.
Gov. Bev. Perdue had some folks quite confused last week. While she was signing a reform bill for the state's alcoholic beverage control system, she said she is still considering privatizing it. And a day after she signed the ban to outlaw video sweepstakes, Perdue said she thinks it needs to be regulated if it is allowed.
Some political observers, such as Chris Fitzsimon with N.C. Policy Watch, said it is his impression the governor is leaving some room for opportunity on some of these issues in case the state needs to figure out a way to profit from them. A likely reality when the state faces a potential $4 billion deficit next year.
“I think it is at least confusing if it is not contradicting,” said Fitzsimon.
At this point, Perdue said that everything needs to be on the table to make sure the state can afford to pay for its core services,
“I think if you have video sweepstakes, whether its video poker or video machines in general, we really do need to have some kind of concentrated, organized, unified sort of system. Where they are under a set of standard rules and regulations and we can be sure that nobody is profiteering from it,” said Perdue.
Perdue said to not misinterpret those comments. She said she is not advocating to legalize this form of gaming, just acknowledging that banning it hasn't proven easy. North Carolina is one of only four states that the national conference of state legislatures said anticipates over a billion dollar budget shortfall next year.