Differences take shape after NC House, Senate pass budgets

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Differences between competing North Carolina state legislative budgets are coming into focus now that the Senate has completed work on its spending plan.

After 15 minutes of debate, the Senate voted 32-15 on Thursday to give final approval to the two-year government spending plan written by Republicans. Senators gave initial approval Wednesday after five hours of debate and more than 20 amendments.

The bill now returns to the House, which passed a very different version last month. The House budget spends almost $700 million more than the Senate does next year. The Senate plan offers many more policy changes. The two chambers will have to work out differences.

Gov. Pat McCrory presented his own budget ideas in March and will be asked to sign any bill into law.

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