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House passes state budget, talks with Senate loom

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RALEIGH — The State House has approved its two year spending plan proposal.

Following more than three hours of debate Thursday, the chamber voted 77-40 in favor of the plan.

Lawmakers spent a little over 10 hours over the past two days debating the merits of the budget proposal. Opponents of the $20.6 billion spending plan say they believe Republican budget writers could have done better.

“The truth is if you want good people to do a good job, you have to treat them well. And that applies to all of your state employees and not just your top level secretaries,” said Rep. Darren Jackson, a Wake County Democrat.

Those supporting the proposal said this is a spending plan that might not be perfect, but is reasonable and responsible; even if it doesn't include everything everyone wants.

“My question is where were all the amendments yesterday to help you get those things, and the reason a lot of those amendments weren't filed is because you couldn't' find a way to do it,” said Rep. Bryan Holloway, a Stokes County Republican.

There were also several Democrats who stood to praise the openness of the budget writing process in the House. Even though they said they still could not vote for the proposal.

The budget now heads back to the Senate.

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