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June 15, 2007
House kicks off debate on budget / Photo
Journal photo / Ruben W. Perez
House Finance Chairman Steven M. Costantino, left, and House Fiscal Advisor Michael O'Keefe chat today.
PROVIDENCE -- The great debate at the House of Representatives has begun.
The House convened today shortly after 2 p.m. for what is expected to be a marathon session to pass the 2007-08 state budget.
The 75 representatives will go through the budget passed by the House Finance Committee last week one section, or article, at a time. There are 43 articles.
Each lawmaker has the opportunity to introduce floor amendments aimed at changing the budget. At least 90 amendments have been drafted. While not every amendment is debated, the session is expected to be among the longest of the year. Last year's House budget debate spanned nine hours.
The major sticking points today are expected to be restoring child-care subsidies, state education aid, and requiring 17-year-olds to be tried as adults.
But at the end of the night, which may cross into morning, the House is expected to have passed next year's state budget. The Senate is expected to endorse the plan early next week.
Then it faces a potential veto from the governor, although Carcieri's staff this week acknowledged he doesn't have the support in the General Assembly to block a veto override, which requires a three-fifths vote.
Projo.com will help you keep up with the debate by providing updates this afternoon and evening.
If staying inside on a nice day in front of a TV doesn't faze you, you can also watch the entire proceeding on Cox Cable's Channel 15. It's on right now.
-- Steve Peoples of the Journal State House Bureau and projo.com staff writer Michael P. McKinney
Posted by Steve Peoples at 2:29 PM | Permalink
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