Gov. Beverly Perdue's administration has directed her Cabinet agencies to find additional savings now to prepare for a large projected shortfall next year.
State Budget Director Charlie Perusse told agency heads in a memo to find an additional 2.5 percent in cost savings by keeping vacant positions open and limiting purchases, travel and training. That's in addition to 1 percent already sought in August.
Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said Tuesday the changes could save at least $200 million. Budget-writers are bracing for a potential $3.5 billion budget gap that must be filled for the new fiscal year starting July 1.
Perdue's staff also met with Republican legislative leaders Tuesday to discuss ways to find additional cost savings across state government.