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Votes on state House budget changes coming this week

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RALEIGH (AP) -- The Republican-led state House is changing North Carolina's government budget by narrowing required cuts for school systems. But Democrats say that improvement doesn't go far enough.

The full House Appropriations Committee planned Tuesday to consider adjustments recommended last week by subcommittees to the second year of the two-year budget approved in 2011. Floor votes are expected Wednesday and Thursday before the Senate makes their own changes.

The adjustments include reducing the amount local school districts must return to the state from $503 million to $170 million. Republicans say the reduction will ensure districts fare no worse once federal education jobs money goes away.

Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue and legislative allies say the entire $503 million should be eliminated and propose a temporary sales tax increase to pay for the move.

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