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RALEIGH, N.C. -- The leader of the North Carolina Senate is sitting down with more than a dozen protesters who wanted to discuss their opposition to public education cuts in the chamber's proposed budget.

Senate leader Phil Berger of Eden sat outside his General Assembly office on Monday evening after the protesters found his office door closed and refused to leave. Berger and several staff members walked to his office after the Senate finished its business for the day and after Republicans held a private caucus. The protesters were among several hundred who came to the Legislative Building as part of the weekly "Moral Monday" demonstrations against the Republican agenda.

More than a dozen protesters were arrested two weeks ago when they failed to leave the office of House Speaker Thom Tillis.

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