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Spending reduced by millions in draft of Senate budget bill

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 3:04 p.m. HST, Mar 27, 2014

The state Senate Ways and Means Committee approved the Senate's draft of the budget on Thursday, adjusting spending to $11.7 billion this fiscal year and $12.1 billion in fiscal year 2015.

The Senate draft is about $46 million less than Gov. Neil Abercrombie requested in adjustments for this fiscal year and $167 million less than the governor requested for fiscal year 2015.

The Senate's draft does include additional money for the student spending formula at the state Department of Education, preschool and early learning programs, homeless assistance, and watershed protection, among other priorities.

Sen. David Ige, the chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said senators wanted to advance the draft early so there would be additional time for House and Senate negotiators and the Abercrombie administration to come up with a final draft before the legislative session adjourns in May.

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