Governor grim on budget

RALEIGH In a week, we should know for sure. Once the tax filing deadline arrives on Wednesday, returns will begin pouring in. Five days later, the State Revenue Office expects to have a handle on how much tax collections are off.

At a meeting of local economic leaders on Monday, Governor Beverly Perdue wasn't sounding optimistic.

"More dismal, more grim," she offered.

But the Governor did have some positive notes to sound. She said federal stimulus money is starting to arrive.

"A lot of people thought some states should turn 'em down - say 'No, thank you' to the federal government. I, on the other hand, was greedy to get my hands on every dollar that we could get," she said.

According to the State Office of Economic Recovery and Investment, North Carolina has already received the $6.1 billion it expected to get from the stimulus package. But officials say they have now also identified almost $1.5 billion more in grants and other stimulus offerings, and there could be more where that came from.

You can keep track of how the money is spent at:

Despite that additional money, the forecast is still bleak.

"Even if the recovery were 100 percent by day after tomorrow, it takes North Carolina about 14 to 18 months to get in the groove again," said Perdue.

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