NC Senate gives initial budget approval

RALEIGH The senate approved its $20 billion proposal Wednesday afternoon.

The budget proposal cuts spending, relies on federal stimulus money and includes $500 million in new taxes.

In its first year, which begins July 1, the plan would spend $20.05 billion and close a projected $3.4 billion budget gap.

But critics are frustrated that budget writers still haven't finalized which taxes will go up.

A final Senate vote could come Thursday, after which it'll go to the House to draw a competing plan with hopes of getting a compromise passed this summer.

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