NC lawmakers send $21B state budget to McCrory

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina legislators have passed the state's yearly budget totaling nearly $21 billion.

The Senate and House adopted the plan Wednesday. The budget next goes to Gov. Pat McCrory for his approval.

The budget was written by Republicans, who last year won large majorities in both chambers and a political ally in McCrory.

Republicans say they acted responsibly by fully funding state pensions, the state health insurance plan and Medicaid.

Democrats are focusing their criticism on a half-billion dollars in tax cuts over the next two years they say will mostly benefit the wealthy and big corporations. Opponents say cuts in public education spending will leave the state's schools stuck near the nation's bottom in spending per student and teacher pay.

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