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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The House has started its debate on a proposed North Carolina state budget pushed by Republicans who call it a right-sized plan that makes sure government lives within its means.

Legislators began explaining Tuesday morning the $19 billion-plus budget for the year starting July 1. The debate was expected to last several hours before the first of two required votes.

Rep. Mitch Gillespie of Marion is one of the chief budget writers. He told colleagues the GOP bill follows through on a promise to let a pair of temporary taxes expire this year.

Eliminating the temporary taxes has required additional spending cuts. Democrats say the decision will lead to the loss of more than 20,000 government positions. The GOP says the number of job losses will be much smaller.

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

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