Senate passes its version of state budget

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - State senators have passed a budget draft they believe will reinforce the state safety net, improve information technology and create new jobs.

Their draft, which now heads to conference committee, reflects both Senate and administration priorities, notes Sen. David Ige, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

This year is the first since 2009 that the state is not facing a budget deficit in the billions. As a result, the legislature can focus on bolstering human services and strengthening core government services that have been cut in recent years, Ige says.

The budget was 1 of hundreds of bills passed by the House and Senate in advance of Thursday's second cross over deadline.

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