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Submitted by WWAY on Mon, 01/03/2011 - 2:02pm.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC (AP) -- A North Carolina state senator says a slow economic recovery and a $3.7 billion budget gap means lawmakers won't have the luxury of phasing out programs to ease the pain for personnel and services. GOP Sen. Pete Brunstetter of Forsyth County told the annual Economic Forecast Forum in Research Triangle Park that government is going to have to make fundamental changes. Brunstetter is expected to be a top budget writer as the Republicans take over the Legislature. Brunstetter says budget cuts will make an impact on state workers but he doesn't know exactly what it will be. Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue has said layoffs are likely. The annual event is coordinated by the North Carolina Bankers Association and the North Carolina Chamber. (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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