N.C. House approves shifts in appropriations

FROM STAFF REPORTSFebruary 9, 2011 

The state House has given preliminary approval to a hotly debated plan to sweep money from about 20 state accounts and capture payments headed for three funds supported by the 1998 national tobacco settlement.

The state has a projected $2.7 billion budget hole to fill next year (revised on Wednesday from $3.7 billion), and sweeping up unspent money is one of the ways Republicans propose building a reserve. The bill also gives Gov. Bev Perdue the authority to order state agencies to find savings of at least $400 million.

The Senate passed the bill, SB 13, last week.

Backed by the Republican majority, the bill passed 66-51 after a three-hour debate. A final vote will come on Thursday.

House Democrats fought the bill, but did not have the votes to stop it. Perdue has been vexed by a part of the bill that takes about $67.5 million headed to the Golden LEAF foundation, and about $8.2 million left in accounts the state uses for business incentives.

Perdue and other Democrats have signaled that a veto is possible because they say those monies help create jobs.

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