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Chances Of Lottery Slim As Lawmakers Seek Late-Night Adjournment

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The General Assembly has targeted a late-night end to this year's session by finally closing the book on the 2004 elections and waiting on whether a lottery would squeak through the Senate.

Both chambers aimed to leave shortly after midnight by taking care of some last-minute business. Senate leader Marc Basnight told colleagues to "prepare to stay tonight, then go for good."

The Senate and House took care of their last bit of required business, choosing Democrat June Atkinson as the superintendent of public instruction over Republican Bill Fletcher in the still-unresolved election.

Both chambers waded through traditional session-end bills that appoint members to state boards and commissions, order legislative studies and make largely technical changes to existing laws.

The Senate also may again wrestle with the lottery, which cleared a committee early Tuesday with little discussion. But there was no apparent sign that chamber leaders had won the additional vote needed to pass the bill.

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