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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — State officials say North Carolina government should be on the hook for roughly $20 million this
fiscal year for its share of costs to respond to Hurricane Irene.

A General Assembly fiscal analyst told a legislative oversight committee Thursday that Gov. Bev Perdue has authority and funds available for those charges without additional approval from the Legislature. The analyst and State Budget Director Andy Willis pointed to pots of money that could be used for the late August storm. The state may have to pay up to $50 million over a three-year period.

The amount doesn’t include damages to farms with uninsured crop losses and for other needs. Willis said those damages could exceed $500 million. The General Assembly could choose to defray these costs if the federal government doesn’t.

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

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