PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Lawmakers in Rhode Island are taking a look at Gov. Lincoln Chafee's $8.5 billion state budget recommendation.
The House Finance Committee on Wednesday began its evaluation of the revenue-and-spending plan for the financial year beginning July 1.
Chafee's proposal keeps current tax rates. It also increases funding for public schools by $38 million and higher education by $10 million.
The proposal suggests several big-ticket expenses that would require voter approval, including $125 million for a new University of Rhode Island engineering school and $35 million for upgrades to arts and cultural facilities.
It also includes a $12.5 million payment on the state's debt for its $75 million investment in former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's now-bankrupt video game company, 38 Studios.
Lawmakers typically make significant changes before approving a budget.
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