Second budget stopgap approved

RALEIGH House leaders set the next deadline to pass the state budget for July 31.

"The committees will continue to try to be able to try to hopefully be able to work out the differences," said President Pro Tempore Sen. Marc Basnight, who was among the majority of state lawmakers who passed the second stopgap spending measure.

The plan directs the governor and all state agencies to cut spending 16 percent until a permanent budget is passed.

"We're all flustered and the people of North Carolina want a bill, want appropriations and know what direction we're going in and we're working on doing this at this time," Basnight said.

The first stopgap was passed two weeks ago.

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Leaders have been at odds over key sticking points like how to raise $1.5 billion in revenue that Governor Bev Perdue wants in new taxes.

Currently, House and Senate Democrats have struggled to comprise on a plan that would raise more than $900 million.

"I've been here 25 years, in one session we stayed until December," Basnight said. "I hope we do not do that."

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