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Richard Eckstrom’s statement on today’s Budget & Control Board vote to cut state budget across-the-board by seven percent

December 11, 2008

Below is Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom’s statement on today’s budget cut. For more information, call (803) 600-1638.

Richard Eckstrom’s statement on today’s Budget & Control Board vote to cut state budget across-the-board by seven percent:

“A budget cut today is better than a budget cut next February. Cutting today allows greater flexibility for each agency, while later cuts would require much more drastic action to keep government afloat.

“State government is bleeding financially, and we need to act immediately to stop the blood loss.

Our budget crisis is more a problem of our spending too much than collecting too little.  Economic growth over the last few years has given us a false hope that good times will last forever. So state government has increased spending beyond levels we can keep up. Now that revenues are falling, we’re unable to support government at the size we’ve grown it.

“A new year and a new legislative session are around the corner and with them comes an opportunity for needed change in state government budgeting. State leaders would do well to recognize this unique opportunity to rethink our approach to spending.  We must exercise greater fiscal discipline by living within our means and resisting the urge to spend every dime that comes in as if good times will last forever.

“If there’s a silver lining somewhere in this current economic crisis, it’s that these challenges will force us to use greater fiscal discipline as we move ahead.”

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