The North Carolina Legislature has agreed to a state government spending plan for next year that's now heading to Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue's desk.
The Republican-led House and Senate voted separately Thursday in favor of a compromise $20 billion budget for the year starting July 1. Perdue will have 10 days to decide whether to veto the measure or let it become law. She vetoed a two-year budget last year, but the veto was overridden.
Republican lawmakers said the plan would give more money to public schools, but most of the required public school reductions from the past three years remain in place. Democrats said public education is taking another step backward in the bill.
State employees and teachers are getting pay raises for the first time since 2008.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)