RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Senate's budget bill would halt preferential Medicaid treatment for East Carolina University's teaching hospital.

A budget provision would end a favored status for Vidant Medical Center. The Daily Reflector of Greenville quotes a Vidant spokeswoman saying the money would cut its Medicaid reimbursements by $35 million.

Republican Sen. Ralph Hise says Vidant shouldn't receive the benefit because it acted to keep the University of North Carolina Board of Governors out of hospital affairs. Vidant and Pitt County commissioners in April removed the UNC board from choosing nine of the 20 hospital board members. The UNC board and ECU sued to try to block that change.

Democratic Sen. Don Davis of Pitt County says Vidant still deserves Medicaid preference because it serves a disproportionate number of Medicaid patients.