House gives final OK to its budget; talks with Senate next

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina House decided to meet in the wee hours to complete work on its version of the state budget.

The chamber convened early Friday just after midnight and quickly approved its two-year government spending plan by a vote of 80-31.

It was the second of two required votes on the Republican proposal. Preliminary approval came late Thursday after several hours of debate. About a dozen Democrats joined nearly all Republicans voting for the plan.

The bill now returns to the Senate, which approved its own plan last month. The GOP-controlled Senate is expected to formally reject the measure next week, setting up a conference committee to eliminate House and Senate differences. They aim to get a final measure to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper later this month.