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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — State government data on how many laid-off public workers in North Carolina are getting severance are raising questions about how many people no longer have jobs under the budget pushed through by Republicans lawmakers.

The state budget office presented a legislative appropriations committee Wednesday information showing agencies have received nearly $24 million from a severance cash reserve – indicating about 1,630 full-time positions.

Republicans on the committee said the number was much less than the 20,000 or more positions Democrats and other groups had claimed the budget would eliminate.

The data provided Wednesday did not take into account several factors, such as vacant positions that have been eliminated. A state schools official said the 516 local school employees listed as receiving severance doesn’t tell the whole picture about layoffs.

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

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