Rhode Island House approves $8.7B budget - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Rhode Island House approves $8.7B budget

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By News Staff, 

news@abc6.com 

Information from Associated Press

The Rhode Island House has approved an $8.7 billion budget that cuts the corporate and estate tax, eliminates the Sakonnet Bridge toll and covers the next 38 Studios bond payment over some lawmakers' objections.
       
The plan approved early Friday lowers the corporate tax to 7 percent and raises the estate tax threshold to $1.5 million. It eliminates the Sakonnet toll and hikes the gas tax to raise revenue for a statewide transportation infrastructure fund.

A spirited effort to fund an independent prosecutor to probe the deal under which ex-Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's video game company got a $75 million state-backed loan was defeated.

"The responsible thing to do was pay.  I think if you look at the summit and substance and the total debate it expressed all the opinions and it expressed the reality that we have to pay.  There are some segments of society that are just angry about the issue.  They can't separate that anger from the states responsibility, but the House of Representatives did the responsible thing with a resounding vote," said House Speaker Nick Mattiello.

It was a long night for the members.  Debate began around 3:30 p.m.  It was interrupted for about 40 minutes because of an issue with the building's network, which caused the voting machine to crash.

The final vote to approve the budget happened just after midnight. 

It now heads to the Senate. 

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