North Carolina Republicans are attempting to take away bargaining chips from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper in their two-month budget stalemate with narrowed tax and spending legislation they're advancing.
The House and Senate debated on Tuesday several bills that would increase pay for state employees and law enforcement officers, as well as for local school workers like custodians. Other legislation would give one-time refunds to everyone who owed state income tax last year.
Everything except the tax rebate bill essentially originates from the $24 billion budget measure that Cooper vetoed in June because it lacked Medicaid expansion and generous teacher raises. Now Republicans are essentially daring Cooper to veto their new "mini-budgets."
Cooper planned to address the budget impasse in a news conference later Tuesday.