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NC Democrats hope to finish budget this weekend

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RALEIGH -- North Carolina legislators will try to wrap up budget negotiations this weekend. House and Senate Democrats met until 3 a.m. Friday working on a deal for a $21 billion state government spending plan for next year. A spokesman for House Speaker Joe Hackney said the negotiating teams will return Sunday. Negotiators tentatively agreed Thursday on a package of tax credits and breaks. Those include ending the gift tax, expanding the earned income tax credit and creating a sales tax holiday for energy efficient products. The new fiscal year begins Tuesday. A final bill likely won't get to Gov. Mike Easley's desk before then. State government would continue to operate because the negotiations only adjust the second year of a two-year budget passed last summer. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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