Senate approves budget cuts

RALEIGH Senators gave final approval with a 32-16 vote after Democrats cut off discussion.

The bill spends $20 billion next year and closes a budget gap with spending cuts, federal stimulus money and $500 million in tax increases yet to be finalized.

The proposal is expected to face scrutiny in the House because it would cut costs at North Carolina schools by increasing class sizes. The proposal would mean a savings of $322 million annually, but Governor Perdue and state education officials have called it the wrong direction for public education in the state.

A compromise budget ultimately will be presented to Gov. Beverly Perdue.

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