By GARY D. ROBERTSON
RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Senate Republicans unveiling their $19 billion plan for North Carolina state government say there's plenty for Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue to like in this budget, and they hope it's enough to win her signature.
Budget subcommittees reviewed portions of the budget Tuesday in advance of a vote by the full appropriations committee later this week. The measure does spend more on education than the House budget bill approved three weeks ago.
Appropriations Committee co-chairman Sen. Richard Stevens of Cary said the governor should be pleased with efforts to reduce public school class sizes and create a merit-based pay system for teachers and state employees. The plan also would cut tax rates.
Perdue and other Democrats have argued that Republican proposals will decimate North Carolina's public education system.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)