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State Senate committee announces budget proposal

By Anita Hofschneider

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 5:56 a.m. HST, Mar 27, 2013

The state Senate Ways and Means Committee is getting ready to publish its draft of the state budget.

The committee is scheduled to meet today to announce its proposal.

Chairman David Ige said last week that the committee plans to suggest a bigger budget than the House passed earlier this session.

The House budget fell about $590 million below Gov. Neil Abercrombie's request.

The House draft didn't include any funding for Abercrombie's proposed preschool program or innovation plan. It also cut funding for more than 900 state department positions that have been vacant at least two years.

Ige says recent positive revenue reports give the Senate committee more flexibility.

He said last week that the committee plans to fund preschool and doesn't plan to remove funding for vacant positions.

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