The North Carolina Senate has given tentative approval to a Republican bill to target several hundred million dollars from spending cuts and reserve funds to help close next year's budget gap.
The measure was approved Thursday in a 30-18 party-line vote. Lawmakers rejected an attempt to exempt $75 million in three economic development initiatives from the list of funds to be tapped.
The money would be carried over to help close next year's projected $3.7 billion shortfall.
Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue has said the bill would put North Carolina at a disadvantage in recruiting new companies and jobs.
A final Senate vote is expected Monday before it goes to the House.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)