Legislators to begin voting on N Carolina state budget deal

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The state budget deal reached by Republicans at the North Carolina General Assembly contains much that lawmakers will support but plenty that could cause Democrats such as Gov. Roy Cooper to oppose the plan.

The Senate was expected late Tuesday to hold the first of two votes on the final two-year spending plan. The House could follow Wednesday.

The agreement reached by House and Senate GOP negotiators includes pay raises for teachers and state employees and a retiree pension increase. There’s also more money for at-risk 4-year-olds to attend preschool.

But the measure doesn’t spend as much as Cooper wanted, and he’s unhappy with tax cuts again benefiting the wealthy and corporations. And during a time of surpluses, Republicans directs that spending in Cooper’s office be reduced by 10 percent.