Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton said he told Gov. Bev Perdue he would veto the budget.
"I am not a fan of this budget," Dalton said after a speech Thursday in which he criticized how the Republicans continue to under-fund education. He said he told Perdue where he stands. "I would be inclined to veto that budget. They did repair some of the cuts that were coming this year. But there are still additional cuts this year over and above the cuts last year. I think that gets lost."
Republican rival Pat McCrory, who also spoke at the N.C. Business Committee for Education annual meeting in Raleigh, said he would sign the budget.
Perdue was scheduled to give a speech at the event but she canceled at the last minute. It comes as her office faces pressure from lawmakers about altered letters supporting a road project. Perdue's aides were gathered at the event but left abruptly a few minutes after the governor was scheduled to arrive, saying she wasn't coming.
A spokesman later said Perdue was tied up in budget meetings.