Budget snafu could put mentally ill on the street

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue and Republicans who control the North Carolina legislature agree it would be tragic for about 1,400 people with serious mental illnesses to lose their homes Jan. 1 — a scenario that could happen because of a one-word tweak to the state budget.

Advocates for people with mental illness predict many of the affected residents will end up on the streets in the middle of winter if a special legislative session isn’t called to address the issue.

But neither Perdue nor Republican legislative leaders have indicated they are ready to do that.

Republicans have suggested Perdue should shift money from elsewhere to pay for the group home residents to stay.

Perdue says she lacks authority to do that because of budget provisions added by Republicans.

Credit: The Associated Press.