Roy Cooper and Josh Stein are both Democrats who won major offices in last year's election. Now they have something else in common - cutbacks courtesy of the Republican-led legislature.

Attorney General Stein laid off 40 lawyers and staff members earlier this year after a $10 million reduction to his budget.

Now it's Gov. Cooper's turn. A final spending plan orders him to make about a $1 million in administrative reductions. That's a 17 percent cut of the estimated cost to keep the office running at recent levels.

Cooper avoided layoffs by shifting several positions to other Cabinet-level agencies.

Cooper's cuts were "punishment for him being a Democrat — and winning" last November, said Rep. Mickey Michaux of Durham, the top budget-writer when Democrats led the House. 

The governor and the General Assembly have often sparred over legislation and legal matters during Cooper's tenure. Senate leader Phil Berger says he bears no animosity against him and denied the cuts were for political reasons.

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