Now he’s doing it again, the new fiscal year has seen him withholding an estimated $10 million, the first installment of payments in the new fiscal year, due in July, in violation of a budget resolution that lawmakers had passed and he had signed, according to an Associated Press report.
Representatives of the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC), the employee group that attempted to sue the governor last year, in a case that was thrown out by the judge (see NC State Employee Sue Governor , and Judge Throws out NC State Employees Lawsuit ), condemned his actions and questioned his legal authority.
But Easley’s supporters defend the decision by saying that absent an approved final budget plan for the new fiscal year, the financial crisis in state government continues.
Whether Easley will restore the money to the pension funds from the $601 million left remaining at the end of the fiscal year, $426 of which proceeds from the Hurricane Floyd relief effort, or keep it for a rainy day, is undecided.
When he directed the state controller to freeze the July pension payment, Easely ordered that the $601 million go into the state?s suspense reserve, will thwart lawmakers from borrowing the hurricane relief money for the purpose of balancing the budget.
The House budget had called for borrowing $150 million, while the Senate asked for $135 million.
– Camilla Klein firstname.lastname@example.org
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