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Governor's Budget Plan Set For Release Wednesday

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RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina is facing a $1 billion budget shortfall.

Wednesday, Gov. Mike Easley will pinpoint some ideas on where to find it as he releases his budget plan.

A couple of ideas have already been floated -- raising the cigarette tax and keeping a sales tax that was supposed to expire. But so far, there are not a lot of specifics.

A state lottery is out -- Easley wants one-- but he says he won't include it in this budget.

He is expected to hold onto a half-cent sales tax increase, set to expire this summer. And he proposes a hike in the cigarette tax, which is getting mixed reviews.

The budget will be released at 9:30 Wednesday morning.

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