Easley Signs $21 Billion Budget

Governor Mike Easley has signed a nearly $21 billion state budget.

Easley says lawmakers showed courage in boosting education
spending and relieving counties' Medicaid burden.

The House and Senate gave final approval Monday. The state is to
take over Medicaid costs from the counties by mid-2009.

Easley called the spending plan "absolutely magnificent."

More than 30 lawmakers attended yesterday's ceremony, including
House Speaker Joe Hackney of Orange County and Durham
Representative Mickey Michaux, a chief author of the plan.

Lawmakers failed to approve the budget by the June 30th deadline
and passed a temporary spending plan that expired at midnight last

Republican lawmakers complain the budget increases spending
nearly ten percent.

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