The Rhode Island House has voted to prohibit new school construction projects for three years.
House lawmakers voted unanimously to approve the ban on new construction Friday. It is part of a $7.7 billion state budget proposal scheduled for a vote Friday night in the House.
New schools could still be built to replace schools damaged or destroyed in a disaster.
Lawmakers say the ban will help the state save money as it confronts an estimated $186 million deficit.
The General Assembly must approve a budget by July 1, the start of the new fiscal year. The budget proposal before the House also includes new taxes on the sale of prescription drugs, sightseeing tours and music and video downloads.