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By EMERY P. DALESIO
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A deadline is looming for about 37,000 jobless North Carolina workers within days of losing their unemployment checks as Republican legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue fight over the cost of keeping the money flowing.

The state Senate voted Thursday to approve extending the jobless benefits for up to an additional 20 weeks. The federally funded benefits will stop Saturday unless the warring state leaders can agree to change a formula and keep the payments coming.

But Republican leaders have tied the extended benefits to a plan that forces Perdue to accept a 13 percent spending cut from her proposal for the entire budget year starting in July if the two sides can’t agree on a budget.

The House also must vote Thursday. Then it’s up to Perdue.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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