The state Senate gave tentative approval 41-8 today to a new attempt to direct Gov. Bev Perdue to hold back money this fiscal year. It's an attempt to work around last week's veto of Senate Bill 13.
Perdue told lawmakers she could find $400 million to hold back from this year's budget if they would give her the expanded budget management powers she would need to make the cuts. Senate Bill 13 would have given her those powers. But it also specified $138 million in cuts to funds earmarked for specific purposes, including economic development. The governor decided she couldn't accept the trade-off.
Senate Bill 109 gives Perdue the powers she asked for, directing her to hold back about $538 million – the sum of the $400 million she said she could find, plus the $138 million lawmakers wanted to take from special funds. This time, it would be up to her to find the money.
Here's sponsor Sen. Neal Hunt (R-Wake) explaining the bill. The final Senate vote on it is expected Wednesday. Sen. Neal Hunt on new budget cuts bill