"Perdue asks for backup budget
Congress could blow a $500 million hole in the $18.9 billion state budget that legislators have worked on for months, adding more uncertainty to funding plans for public agencies and schools.
The $500 million question mark - beefed-up federal Medicaid payments that could stop by the year's end - may lead to more state budget cuts in a year that started with budget writers working to compensate for an $800 million revenue shortfall.
...North Carolina and most other states were counting on the additional federal money to support their budgets.
As part of the national stimulus law passed last year, the federal government is picking up a bigger share of the cost of Medicaid, the state and federal health insurance program for the poor and disabled.
State officials expected to keep getting the extra money through July 2011.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 states have proposed or passed budgets assuming they would get it.
But members of Congress, worried about increased federal deficits, started objecting.
There's a chance the fattened Medicaid payments will stop at the end of this year."