Governor Pat McCrory recently announced pay freezes, spending cuts and travel restrictions and is urging state agencies to collect any debts as quickly as possible.
He said the state is struggling to cover a $262 million Medicaid shortfall identified in a recent audit.
Supporters call the cuts a common-sense measure to get the state's fiscal house in order, but critics said if the state had expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act that the gap would have been covered and none of this would be necessary.
"This is merely an excuse to blame Medicaid and deflect attention from his decision to turn away federal money and what is worse is he is taking it out on state employees," said Adam Sering with the North Carolina Justice Center.
McCrory signed a bill earlier this week blocking the Medicaid expansion.