RI lawmakers meet for closed-door budget talks


Members of the Rhode Island House are meeting behind closed doors to discuss a new state budget proposal.

All 65 Democratic members of the House were invited to the meeting Tuesday afternoon.

House Speaker Gordon Fox says the goal of the meeting is to build consensus before a new budget proposal is unveiled, likely on Friday.

Lawmakers must approve a new state budget before the next fiscal year begins July 1.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an independent, proposed a $7.66 billion budget in March that included a lower but broader sales tax.

Lawmakers balked at the breadth of Chafee’s tax expansion, and have been working on a revised proposal. Fox says tax increases and spending cuts are both possible as lawmakers look to eliminate an estimated $331 million budget deficit.

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