Final budget vote today?

August 5, 2009 4:26:17 AM PDT
After weeks of delay, the Legislature is close to approving a new state budget.The first of two rounds of voting on the $19 billion budget proposal were held Tuesday.

After a final vote today, it'll likely land on the governor's desk later this week.

"So after this long tough budget negotiation process I believe the state has to move forward," North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue said. "I am going to sign this budget, but I am going to do so with serious reservations."

The budget would raise taxes on almost everyone, cost some state workers their jobs and force public schools, the public safety system and mental health facilities to tighten their belt.

About 7,000 state workers will be out of work. But the budget spares employees from pay cuts of mandatory furloughs.

The governor said nearly 90 percent of North Carolina families are protected from an income tax surcharge, but an across the board sales tax increase will take its toll on everyone.

"Today's budget that you heard debated on the floor of the General Assembly is far from perfect," she said.

Governor Perdue pointed out flaws, but said moving on means moving forward, passing the budget and paying the bills.

"I'm a big girl and I know how to make tough decisions and I'll balance the budget, and I'll pay North Carolina's bills to keep this state moving forward," Perdue said.

She also said there was at least 18 months to two years away from economic recovery and that meant residents would have to continue to trim spending and be wise in investments.


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