Perdue, GOP at odds over budget

May 23, 2011 2:31:43 AM PDT
Governor Beverly Perdue took direct aim at Republicans in the legislature and the idea of major cuts in education Friday.

"We are going to fund teachers and fund teachers' assistants, or I will simply veto their budget," Perdue said during a jobs announcement in RTP.

So far, it's looked like Republicans wouldn't fund education to Perdue's satisfaction. But Friday Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger told ABC11 Eyewitness News their numbers have changed and the Senate is restoring money for K-12 education.

"Before she would go out and say, 'I'm going to veto what they do,'" Berger said. "I would hope that she would know what it is that we're going to do and she's not called to ask that question. Berger also told ABC11 unemployment benefits for the 40,000 people who've gone without them for the last six weeks because Republicans and the Governor couldn't reach an agreement will be in the budget.

Republicans tried to tie those benefits to a bill that would have essentially forced Perdue to accept their budget and she vetoed that bill. Now, Republicans are working on another budget that would do roughly the same thing, which Perdue blasted Friday.

"Instead of doing the right thing the last six weeks, Republicans have chosen to play little boy games with the state with these unemployed people and now they're the hostages of these Republican leaders in our state," she said. "I think it's wrong."

By the end of the week, there should be a tentative budget and another bill on unemployment benefits.

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