- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Highlights from Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s proposed $8.5 billion state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1:

-Taxes: Tax rates remain the same. Hotel and sales tax would be imposed on bed and breakfasts. If Congress passes a law allowing states to collect sales taxes from online or catalog businesses from out of state, Chafee wants to use the money to offset a reduction in the corporate income tax from 9 to 6 percent.

-Education: $38 million in additional funding for public schools and $10 million in funding for higher education to avoid a tuition increase. A referendum asking voters to authorize $125 million to build new engineering school at the University of Rhode Island.

-Arts and recreation: A $10 million events center at Fort Adams State Park. A proposed November referendum seeking approval for $35 million in grants to performing arts centers, museums and other arts organizations for facility upgrades.

-Environment: A November referendum asking voters to approve $75 million for industrial site cleanup, open-space conservation and local water and wastewater projects

-Transportation: $80 million for bridge maintenance and repairs over the next five years. A proposed ballot referendum authorizing $40 million for improvements to mass transit hubs.

-Economy: $1.8 million - including $500,000 more than last year - for workforce training and job assistance programs. $52 million in additional historic tax credits to spur redevelopment projects.

-38 Studios debt: A $12.5 million payment on the debt the state owes for its failed $75 million investment in Curt Schilling’s now-bankrupt video game company.

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