Raleigh, N.C. — The Senate was expected to approve its $22.9 billion spending plan shortly after midnight Friday, and the floor debate during the preliminary vote Thursday evening went pretty much according to script.
Democrats criticized the budget for not spending enough on education and for giving tax breaks to the wealthy and businesses, while Republicans credited the tax cuts for the state's growing economy and said the state needs to give money back to people when it collects more than it needs.
House Speaker Tim Moore told his chamber to clear the decks next week to begin working on their version of the budget, hoping to vote on that on the week of Memorial Day.
Earlier in the day, the House Finance Committee approved a "raise the age" bill that would stop the practice of trying all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, although there was much concern over the cost of the move.
Before the Senate budget debate, that chamber finished the override of Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of legislation capping the damages people who live near hog farms and other farming and forestry operations for odors and other nuisances. The House voted in favor of an override on Wednesday.