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Final North Carolina budget changes speeding toward votes

RALEIGH (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 May 29, 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 May 28. 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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