By GARY D. ROBERTSON
RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina House members are picking at a state budget proposal largely written by Republicans that critics say make deep cuts in public education and health programs but GOP leaders say protects classroom teachers and health services for the poor.
The House Appropriations Committee began debating Wednesday the more than $19 billion proposal for next fiscal year that spends hundreds of millions of dollars less than Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue proposed.
The panel heard more than 20 amendments by the early afternoon and expected dozens more.
Members restored money for 20 prison chaplains and to promote wineries. They rejected proposals to remove a proposed ban on grants to Planned Parenthood and a potential $75 fee for student driver's education.
The House will vote on the bill next week.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)