RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's Democratic attorney general is responding to budget cuts imposed by Republican lawmakers by laying off about 9 percent of his agency's attorneys and telling local prosecutors they'll have to take over more courtroom tasks.
Attorney General Josh Stein on Thursday described his response to legislators deciding in June to cut $10 million from his budget despite objections from police chiefs and district attorneys. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's office operations were also cut.
"We had to let go three lawyers with vast knowledge, handling criminal appeals of convicted child sex offenders. This work is difficult. It's emotionally draining, and obviously critical", Stein said during a conference call with reporters. he was joined on that call by local district attorneys who said the cuts the state Department of Justice will increase the workloads for their offices.
Stein says this week's layoffs represent a third of the required cut and he's lining up funding promises from other state agencies to avoid more. He's asking lawmakers to restore $3 million. He warns if that does not happen, further job cuts could occur.
House Speaker Tim Moore says Stein has enough money to keep the criminal justice process moving.
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