RALEIGH -

The North Carolina government spending plan House Republicans have drawn up for next year has cleared their chamber's two most important committees.

The House finance and appropriations panels recommended the $21 billion budget proposal Wednesday after voting on more than 60 amendments covering several hours. The entire House will debate and vote on the spending plan Thursday and Friday.

The budget committee defeated an amendment that would have prevented the State Bureau of Investigation from being transferred to the Department of Public Safety. Money to keep operating family courts in dozens of counties was restored. A tax credit to fix historic properties set to expire in 2015 was revived.

The Senate already approved a budget that differs from the House on education and Medicaid issues.