Raleigh, N.C. — The House debated for about five hours Thursday afternoon and evening before giving preliminary approval to a $22.9 billion budget proposal for 2017-18. Final approval was expected shortly after midnight Friday.
Democrats said the House budget writers should have invested more in education and infrastructure needs, but Republicans praised their fiscal responsibility.
The House and the Senate now must negotiate and approve a compromise spending plan over the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, the Senate approved the so-called "brunch bill," which would allow restaurants to serve alcohol starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays. Senators also gave a 44-1 smackdown to a proposal to create a special fund for major transportation construction and maintenance projects, saying it reinserts politics into highway funding decisions.