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NC House mini-budget returned to sender by Senate

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- The North Carolina Senate ditched a House bill designed to accelerate the budget talks with a rare maneuver that could aggravate negotiations instead.

The Senate returned a trimmed-down spending measure to the House on Monday night without considering its contents. Senate Rules Chairman Tom Apodaca says that's because the bill put the state out of fiscal balance, particularly on Medicaid.

Apodaca's action was extraordinary. Usually, disliked bills get buried in a committee, sent to a conference committee or are rejected outright.

Apodaca said later the move was designed to show Senate Republicans were serious about budget talks and weren't playing games. House Republicans and Gov. Pat McCrory last week backed the legislation with teacher raises inside in case a broader budget bill got mired in negotiations.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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