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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s General Assembly is finalizing the annual spending plan for education, public health, transportation and other government services.

The state House on Saturday gave its final approval to a $21 billion budget that raises pay for public school teachers by an average of 7 percent. The spending plans cuts include trimming millions of dollars from programs including public health, childhood development and early education.

Gov. Pat McCrory says he’ll sign the budget into law.

Republican lawmakers who decided what programs get taxpayer money and what won’t claimed success.

Democrats blamed continuing belt-tightening despite the improving economy on the GOP decision last year to cut income and business taxes. Critics say the income tax cut worth more than $5 billion over five years disproportionately benefits the wealthy and companies.

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