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Senate Finance Budget Clears Committee Along Party Lines

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After weeks of going through the numbers, the Senate Finance Committee has wrapped up its version of the state’s next two-year budget.

The proposal passed the committee with a 4 to 2 vote Wednesday, with Democrats against.

The overall spending plan comes in at $11.8 billion, which is slightly less than the Governor’s proposal, as well as the House Finance Committee’s version.

Areas such as developmental disability services, substance abuse and mental health all saw more money than in the current budget. But Democrats on the committee argued the increases don’t go far enough to help those programs.

Senate President Chuck Morse says the budget is realistic.

“We certainly have had lists of things that we couldn’t fund like increased funding for the university system that we just can’t get to in this budget if we are going to live within our means,” Morse said after the final vote.

Morse also touted the plan’s business tax cuts. Those opposed to the budget say these reductions are costing the state needed revenue.

The full Senate is scheduled to vote on this plan next week.

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