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RIPR FILE

House lawmakers have voted to pass an $8.7 billion dollar budget that restores some proposed cuts and adds money for education and economic development.

House finance committee members voted to include many of Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposals to streamline Medicaid and spur business and job growth.  But the budget that now heads to the full House for a vote is $37 million dollars richer than her original ask, thanks to a rosier state revenue picture. House fiscal advisor Sharon Reynolds Ferland gave lawmakers the bottom line.

Zakarias Abrous / RIPR

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo met in Providence Tuesday.

According to staffers from Governor Raimondo’s office, the meeting was informal. The governors were expected to discuss college hockey and the first-ever championship for Providence College, which beat out longtime rival Boston University.

The two state leaders were also set to talk about the economy, and what can be done to bolster the region.  Massachusetts has seen declines in unemployment, while Rhode Island has recovered more slowly from the recession.

Voters in Narragansett and South Kingstown will elect a new state representative Tuesday in House District 33. Four candidates are running to succeed former Representative Donald Lally, who left the House earlier this session.

The candidates are Republican Robert Trager; Democrat Carol Hagan McEntee; and independents Elizabeth Candas and Jamie McKnight. Before his departure, Lally was the second-longest serving  rep in the House.

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Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The House Finance Committee is slated to vote Tuesday on the budget for the fiscal year beginning July first. As is usually the case the House makes some changes to the spending plan introduced by the governor.

The House Finance budget is not expected to include truck tolls proposed by Governor Gina Raimondo to help pay for bridge improvements. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says more information is needed about the plan. The budget does include funding for HealthSource RI, the state’s version of Obamacare, as well as economic incentives meant to spark economic growth.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Raimondo administration is reducing the number of trucks it wants to toll as part of a new program to pay for infrastructure improvements. However the State Trucking Association remains opposed to the governor’s initiative.

The governor’s office is exempting trucks in class sizes 6 and 7 from its plan to institute electronic tolls on highways around the state. The cost of the tolls has not yet been publicly identified.

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