Lawmakers Give Final Approval To State Budget

The North Carolina General Assembly has given final approval to a new state government budget that contains no broad pay increases for state employees but threatens to take away pension fund contributions if extra money doesn't arrive from Congress.

The House and Senate agreed to the nearly $19 billion spending plan in separate votes Wednesday that were similar to margins in Tuesday's initial voting. Gov. Beverly Perdue is expected to sign the measure into law.

State Treasurer Janet Cowell criticized the budget because of how little additional money was set aside to beef up the state employee pension funds. She said it could fall $310 million short of what's needed to keep it financially sound.

Cowell said current monthly pension checks won't be affected.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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