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RALEIGH — Gov. Beverly Perdue is telling North Carolina state agencies to look harder for spending cuts after she received dozens of options to trim next year’s budget. Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said Wednesday that Perdue reviewed the options late Tuesday and wants more sustainable cuts, particularly to programs. According to Pearson, Perdue says officials need to look into "the bowels of the agencies." Former Gov. Mike Easley had asked department heads to suggest cuts so Perdue would have some ideas when she took office earlier this month. The options include $224 million in reductions to the state Medicaid office, as well as closing some units at Broughton and Cherry mental hospitals and the state prison hospital in Hoke County. (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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