General Assembly Adjourning After 6 Months

North Carolina's General Assembly is closing down for the year after six months of work dominated by the recession, a tight state budget and tax increases.

The House and Senate each scheduled ceremonial sessions Tuesday to adjourn the General Assembly's legislative work.

Lawmakers spent most of their energy this year balancing service cuts against tax increases in one of the worst recessions in generations.

The tough economic times didn't stop lawmakers from banning cigarette smoke from restaurants and bars, extending tax breaks to Apple Inc. and other businesses promising to create jobs, and bailing out the state-funded health insurance plan for its employees, retirees and teachers.

Lawmakers plan to return to Raleigh in May.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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