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Senate Ways and Means OKs state budget bill

A Senate panel approved Monday its version of the $11 billion supplemental budget bill that focuses on education and core services along with key provisions of Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s New Day initiative.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee advanced the budget unanimously.

“The committee found merit in the majority of the governor’s proposals and funded them as they pertain to maintaining the safety net and the restoring the ability of government to perform certain necessary functions,” said Sen. David Ige (D, Aiea-Pearl City), the committee chairman.

Ige called the budget “responsible and responsive” to the governor’s requests.

The committee also appropriated $15 million to the Department of Education to go directly to schools under the weighted student formula, providing funds directly to schools based on student enrollment.

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