Differences slowly dwindle in North Carolina budget talks

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – House and Senate Republicans have narrowed further the number of their differences that must be resolved before a North Carolina state budget can be finalized.

The top leaders of each chamber sounded hopeful Tuesday they’ll have a final two-year plan approved and sent to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk to avoid the need for a fourth stop-gap spending measure. The third expires Sept. 18.

Exactly when they’ll have a tentative agreement is unclear. While House Speaker Tim Moore says having a final plan in place by Friday is possible, Senate leader Phil Berger said later that sounded optimistic.

Moore and Berger say there’s an agreement that would keep funding teacher assistants similar to levels last year. Moore says details on how that money can be spent are being worked out.

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