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Republicans Reach New Budget Agreement

 Republican leaders in the legislature have come up with a new budget they hope members of both parties will pass. 

 Senate leaders have made some significant changes to their version of a budget they released last week. Those revisions include spending about 300 million dollars more on public education and restoring funding for teacher assistant positions in the first and second grades. Health and Human Services would get 61 million dollars more than last week's version, and an income tax cut in last week's Senate budget plan has been dropped. But earlier today, Senate Democratic Leader Martin Nesbitt accused Republicans of moving money around rather than restoring funding for education. The new budget plan would force school districts to find 120 million dollars more in discretionary cuts. The plan is very likely to pass in the Senate this week. Republican leaders in the House hope a handful of Democrats in the House will make the measure veto-proof. 

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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