By EMERY P. DALESIO
RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A contentious North Carolina budget headed to Gov. Bev Perdue is getting more heated as Perdue breaks a logjam on unemployment benefits and a Republican leader was heard calling her "incompetent."
The state House is scheduled to vote Friday and a final time early Saturday on the nearly $20 billion spending plan crafted by the Legislature's Republican majority.
Perdue signed an executive order Friday aimed at extending federal unemployment benefits to some 47,000 long-term jobless workers caught in a tug-of-war between the governor and lawmakers.
The GOP-written budget includes the benefits fix, but Perdue appears ready to veto it.
A House Republican leader called Perdue "incompetent" for acting seven weeks after the benefits fight began. His words came during a closed-door GOP meeting which was mistakenly streamed over the Internet.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)