North Carolina legislators are making their final arguments and casting final votes on the state's yearly budget totaling nearly $21 billion spending plan.
The Senate adopted the plan Wednesday. The House was expected to receive final approval later Wednesday.
The measure was written by Republicans, who last year won large majorities in both chambers and an ally in GOP Gov. Pat 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.