- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina legislators are getting together to discuss what looks like encouraging state budget prospects for the next two years.

Tuesday’s joint meeting of the House and Senate appropriations committees comes just days after state economists projected a revenue surplus of more than $550 million for the fiscal year ending June 30. Executive and legislative branch staffers believe the surplus could result in an additional $1.5 billion in collections starting July 1 through mid-2019.

Committee members are also expected Tuesday to discuss budget trends and choices budget-writers must weigh.

It’s the Senate’s turn this year to first draw up a two-year budget proposal and pass it. The House will then approve a different version. Republicans from both chambers ultimately will craft a compromise they’ll send to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

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