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Senate Republicans considering supporting Democrats' budget


RALEIGH (AP) -- The Senate is expected to debate today its $20 billion proposed budget for next year and many Republicans are considering voting for it.

Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger told reporters this morning there are a lot of good things in the two-year spending plan Democrats rolled out yesterday. They include letting two temporary taxes expire and a permanent cap on the state gasoline tax.

But Berger also points to lots of proposed debt and a pilot needle-exchange program as bad ideas in the bill.

Senator Fred Smith of Johnston County says it's going to be a tough vote but says it's the first time in his four years in the chamber he's seriously considered voting for it.

Even without Republican votes, the budget should pass since Democrats hold 31 of the 50 seats.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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