Lawmakers pass $10 billion budget
The state House and Senate today passed a $10 billion annual budget that avoids a broad increase in general excise taxes but hikes a variety of smaller taxes.
The budget relies on tax increases worth more than $200 million, tax refund delays, cuts in government and transfers of special funds. Lawmakers are trying to balance the state's $1.3 billion projected deficit through June of next year.
Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, a Democrat, says the budget didn't have to resort to an increase in the general excise tax, which is paid on nearly every transaction.
Instead, the budget raises taxes on oil, some estates, cigarettes and other areas.
Only one legislator voted no — Republican Sam Slom.