By CATHY BUSSEWITZAssociated Press
HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers have advanced a $12 billion state budget out of committee after making tough choices about everything from capital improvement projects and nonprofit grant requests.
The budget advanced Friday by a conference committee of Senate and House lawmakers slashes $92 million from the fiscal 2014 budget and another $65 million from 2015.
The move was one of many maneuvers at the Hawaii Legislature in an atmosphere ranging from laughter to chaos, with legislators tackling a mountain of difficult bills.
All bills that require funding have to move out of committees on Friday or die. And many of the toughest decisions were saved until the bitter end.
In one hearing Friday morning, committee members laughed when a fire alarm interrupted a lawmaker's speech on a bill.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
PHOTOS: Maui crossfitters break a sweat to help sick children
This $14.5M Big Island estate named HGTV's Best Outdoor Retreat
PHOTOS: Former President Bill Clinton on Oahu
PHOTOS: Largest collection of Niihau shell lei, items from Hawaiian heiress up for auction