State budget heads to Governor Perdue

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue is facing a decision on whether to accept or veto a nearly $20 billion state budget she has criticized.

The House voted 73-45 early Saturday to pass the budget and action hours later in the Senate left the Democratic governor with a decision.

Republicans say theirs is a tough budget for tough economic times. GOP lawmakers say they spent close to what Perdue sought on public schools without federal stimulus funds and allowing temporary sales and income taxes to expire at the end of the month on schedule.

Democrats warn the budget taking effect July 1 will still lead to thousands of layoffs at public schools, community colleges, and universities. Opponents say the spending plan also cuts help for the environment and the poor.

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