Final North Carolina budget changes speeding toward votes

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House speaker Tim Moore, center, has a photo taken with educators during a teachers rally at the General Assembly in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 16, 2018. Thousands of teachers rallied the state capital seeking a political showdown over wages and funding for public school classrooms. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina General Assembly is making quick work of approving adjustments to the second year of the two-year state government budget.

House and Senate Republicans reached an agreement on a nearly $24 billion plan more than a month before the new fiscal year begins July 1. They scheduled a joint budget committee to discuss the details Tuesday, less than two weeks after the annual session began.

Both chambers expected floor votes on the final package later this week before the budget bill heads to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk.

The full plan was released Monday night. It includes 6.5 percent teacher pay raises on average, $15 million for prison security upgrades and previously announced initiatives to lure large companies to the state and study little-known contaminants in state rivers.

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