Updated May 31, 2019 | 1:37 p.m.
Negotiations between legislative budget-writers now begin in earnest after the Senate completed voting on its version of a two-year spending plan for North Carolina government.
The Senate gave final approval on Friday to the budget bill written by Republicans. Three Democrats joined all GOP senators present in voting for the legislation, which would spend $24 billion next year. Senators gave preliminary approval on Thursday.
The bill now returns to the House, which already passed a competing plan. The two chambers will now fashion a consensus plan to present to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
The Senate agreed Friday to restore three positions on the staff of new Chief Justice Cheri Beasley that Republican budget-writers earlier agreed to cut. Beasley is a Democrat and the first African American woman at the post.