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UPDATE: House Gives The Final OK To Nearly $19B State Budget

The North Carolina House has completed its work on its version of the state budget. Negotiations with the Senate are next.

The House gave final approval early Friday to a nearly $19 billion plan to run state government next year.

The 63-to-49 margin in favor of the bill was recorded shortly after midnight with no additional debate following the initial vote Thursday afternoon.

House and Senate Democrats will start working next week to eliminate budget differences.

The Senate plan approved two weeks ago focused on protecting the University of North Carolina system.

The House emphasized public schools.

Negotiators want to get a final budget to Gov. Beverly Perdue by July 1.

Republicans argue both plans leave the state unprepared for a big shortfall in 2011.


PREVIOUS STORY:

The House has approved its spending plan for North Carolina government that's being billed as either an austere budget for 2010 or a plan that leaves the state unprepared for a $3 billion shortfall in 2011.

The House gave preliminary approval Thursday of a nearly $19 billion spending plan by a party-line vote of 62-55. A second and final vote is expected just after midnight.

The plan tries to preserve more public school jobs and requires universities to find additional cuts. Majority Leader Hugh Holliman said he believes all lawmakers can support the plan because it doesn't contain new taxes.

But House Minority Whip Thom Tillis said the budget doesn't prepare North Carolina for next year's loss of federal stimulus funds.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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