Final state budget on track for passage, Cooper’s desk

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina state budget looks on track to reach Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk before the week’s end.

The Senate is expected to give its final approval on Wednesday to the two-year spending plan negotiated by General Assembly Republicans, a day after the chamber gave it tentative approval. The House scheduled its two required votes for Wednesday and Thursday.

Cooper will have decide whether to veto the measure he’s already criticized for spending too little on public education and for cutting income taxes again for the wealthy and corporations. But Republicans point out nearly everyone — including low- and middle-income people — would pay less in taxes under the bill.

Not all Democrats agree with Cooper — four Democratic senators joined Republicans on Tuesday in voting for the measure.