Local Politics

Senate leaders to tackle potential $1.2M budget shortfall

Posted June 18, 2010 4:56 p.m. EDT
Updated June 18, 2010 6:04 p.m. EDT

— With a potential budget shortfall of $1.2 billion looming, state Senate leaders worked to trim larger line items on Friday.

Last month, the U.S. House passed a jobs bill that deleted $24 billion in support for cash-strapped states. North Carolina lawmakers had planned to use the money to plug holes in the Department of Health and Human Services after taking money from programs there to spend elsewhere.

On Thursday night, the Senate rejected the long-sought legislation.

Without those federal dollars, North Carolina's budget shortfall jumps to $1.2 billion dollars and could cause thousands of jobs to be eliminated, Gov. Bev Perdue said.

State lawmakers said Friday they remain hopeful that Congress will provide stimulus money, but it could take months and yield a smaller amount.

Budget writers said they were working on two budgets – one containing the federal stimulus money and one without.

By law, the state must approve a budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year by June 30.