Senate panel OKs House-approved budget plan

By The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ A key Senate panel has endorsed the $8.7 billion budget approved by the Rhode Island House of Representatives last week.

The Finance Committee voted 8-1 to send the fiscal 2015 budget to the Senate floor.

It includes several tax changes, including a cut in the corporate tax and an increase in the estate tax threshold.

It includes a hike in the gas tax, which is among the revenue sources for a plan to address transportation infrastructure statewide in the coming year.

It also contains $12.3 million for the next payment related to the state’s failed investment in 38 Studios.

Finance Chairman Daniel Da Ponte called it a fair budget that protects the state’s vulnerable but also makes “bold” investments.       

Once the plan is approved, it will go to the governor.

(C) The Associated Press/WLNE-TV 2014