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Tillis: NC budget is 'finders keepers' in 2013

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RALEIGH (AP) -- House Speaker Thom Tillis says the North Carolina state budget process will be a game of "finders keepers'' this year, at least in his chamber.

Tillis told reporters Tuesday that budget-writers will be looking for cost savings again to keep making state government more efficient. But the Mecklenburg County Republican says this year will be somewhat different because of the state's improved fiscal picture.

He says agencies that find the savings themselves before lawmakers do will get to keep the money for strategic projects and capital improvements. But lawmakers will take those cost savings elsewhere if they have to locate the inefficiencies.

Tillis says this method should provide an incentive to agencies by rewarding improved productivity.

Budget subcommittees began meeting Tuesday and aim to complete a two-year budget by mid-June.

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