The North Carolina General Assembly on Wednesday advanced a Republican proposal to spend another $1 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds, with almost half going to families in stimulus-style checks.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and his legislative allies didn't seek the direct payments of $335 for parents, which could go to pay for child care and education materials for kids staying at home for school.

But most Democrats still joined all Republicans in the Senate to vote 44-5 in favor of the COVID-19 relief packag. The House was expected to vote Thursday on the measure and send it to Cooper before wrapping up a two-day work session.

The GOP package also includes money for coronavirus testing, tracing and personal protective equipment, as well as funds to raise weekly unemployment benefits by $50 and give Election Day poll workers another $100. K-12 public schools also wouldn't be penalized financially if enrollment falls while they are holding classes remotely. There's money to address recent natural disasters and to help businesses that have retained employees during the pandemic.