State House Wraps Up Debate On $21 Billion Budget

The Republican-led House has given its final support to a $21 billion spending plan for North Carolina government that once again garnered several Democratic "yes" votes.

Seven Democrats joined all but one Republican voting 77-35 on Friday for the budget adjustments starting July 1. A similar outcome occurred Thursday when the plan received preliminary approval.

The measure now returns to the Senate, which approved its own plan and is sure to reject the House version, setting up negotiations. The two chambers will craft a final budget for Gov. Pat McCrory.

The House plan raises teacher salaries by 5 percent on average. Rep. Tricia Cotham of Matthews is a Democrat who voted for the plan. She says the budget isn't perfect but teacher pay increases are very important to her.

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