Gov. Pat McCrory says state government needs to tighten its belt to keep its budget balanced while paying for higher costs in North Carolina's Medicaid program through the end of June.
McCrory directed department heads and Cabinet secretaries Friday to halt most employee salary increases, scale back purchases and travel and speed up collection of outstanding revenues.
McCrory said in a memo that Medicaid is on track to spend between $70 million and $130 million more in state funds than originally budgeted. The program also began with a $132 million shortfall because an audit says it didn't pay back federal funds until this fiscal year.
North Carolina state government is running on a $20 billion budget and sits in a much improved position financially compared to four years ago.
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