Perdue announces deficit cut by $1 billion

RALEIVH In a YouTube video, Perdue said the $3.7 billion deficit has been cut to $2.7 billion because the state is in better financial shape than anticipated thanks to careful management and investments in North Carolina's growing economy.

"A billion dollars less is great news," Perdue said in the video. "We still have a very steep budget hole, there will be many tough choices made in the next few weeks." Click here to watch Perdue's announcement

Her announcement comes on the same day the first bill from the General Assembly was sent to her.

House Republicans passed the Balanced Budget Act of 2011 on Wednesday afternoon.

The Balanced Budget Act of 2011 doesn't balance next year's budget, what it does is seek money out of this year's budget to pay down the state's deficit.

By stripping money away from state funds, Democrats say the budget could hurt critical to job creation, like Golden Leaf.

"It's just a shock that the first major piece of legislation they would do would be to retard economic growth in North Carolina," Sen. Josh Stein said.

Republicans challenge the notion that giving away money creates jobs, but regardless, they say, the bill only takes some money out of the funds.

"Senate Bill 13 does not cripple any of the measures that are currently in place," Senate President Pro-Tempore Sen. Phil Berger said.

But Governor Perdue has the power of the pen and says she won't sign a bill that stifles job creation.

"Nobody came to me and said do you sign off on this," Perdue said. "I would have said no and I'm saying no now."

It would take a two-thirds majority to override a veto. Republicans have that in the Senate, but they don't have it in the House.

It could be just a signature away from the drama that many thought inevitable with a Republican legislature and a Democratic governor.

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