Day One: McCrory outlines immediate needs, challenges (video)
Governor Pat McCrory held the first press conference of his new administration Monday to share with reporters the good, the bad and the ugly.
The ugly, according to the new governor, would be the state’s information technology systems – so “broken” in many departments, it will be essential to work with contractors to modernize existing programs and create better back-up computer systems.
McCrory said his budget director and cabinet secretaries would also be examining the maintenance operation needs of state buildings in serious need of repair:
“This is not just true of buildings, but we’ve had this example with roads and other infrastructure, where we build new things without having sufficient operations money to run them,” said the governor. “This is a long-term structural breakdown…that you can’t put on any one individual or political party. This is an institutional structural breakdown.”
The bad: While North Carolina has a razor thin surplus, the state faces a “cash-flow crunch” likely through May, as the Revenue Department works to process income tax refunds in a timely manner.
Asked about the possibility of seeking new revenue in the upcoming legislative session, Gov. McCrory said that was off the table:
“Listen, if I try to get new revenue from existing businesses, I would then cause unemployment to go up even more, which would then mean our unemployment checks would put more debt…so there’s a cause and effect in everything you do,” explained McCrory.
As for the good, Governor McCrory said he was pleasantly surprised to hear from his Secretary of Public Safety that North Carolina’s emergency operations are in “sound condition…in very good shape.”
McCrory also used Monday’s press event to announce that former Rowan County Rep. Fred Steen would serve as his legislative liaison; Tony Almeida will be his top economic adviser; Booz Allen Hamilton technology consultant Chris Estes will step into the role of chief information officer.
To hear Governor McCrory talk about the possibility of new revenue, click below. You can watch the full 30 minute press conference on WRAL.com.