Nearly $10B budget heads to Rhode Island governor’s desk

By The Associated Press

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A nearly $10 billion state budget is headed to Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo’s desk.

The Senate approved the $9.97 billion spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 30-8, late Thursday. The Senate didn’t change the budget the House approved last week . 

The legislature aims to adjourn Friday.

The budget would increase state spending by $393 million, expand the state’s pre-kindergarten program and add six medical marijuana dispensaries.

It would eliminate the tax on feminine hygiene products and continue to phase-out the car tax. It adds a tax on digital downloads and streaming services, including Netflix.

Raimondo has to either sign or veto the entire appropriations bill. Rhode Island’s governor doesn’t have line-item veto power.

 Raimondo has praised the investments in education, but is concerned about cuts to economic development programs.

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