- Associated Press - Friday, June 30, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Latest on the Rhode Island General Assembly (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

Rhode Island’s Senate has passed an amended $9.2 billion state budget plan, but it has no chance of passing the House, whose members were sent home earlier in the day by Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.

Mattiello says he ended the session when learned the Senate planned to make the last-minute change, which would block further increases in reimbursement to towns for lost car-tax revenue if state revenue drops.

The Senate voted 30-5 to pass the amended budget, which was supposed to go into effect at midnight.

Mattiello had urged the Senate to pass the original budget plan and says he has no plans to call the House back into session this summer.

5:10 p.m.

Rhode Island’s $9.2 billion budget plan and dozens of other bills have been caught in a legislative limbo amid a dispute between the leaders of the House and Senate.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says he ended the day’s session abruptly because he learned the Senate planned to make last-minute changes to the budget, which was supposed to go into effect at midnight.

Meanwhile, a Senate spokesman says there was significant concern in the Senate regarding whether it was sustainable to phase out the car tax, as Mattiello wanted.

Mattiello says in an email to House representatives that changes to the budget would have resulted in a long and unproductive night for the members and the public. He urged the Senate to pass the state budget as-is.

Friday was expected to be the last day of the regular 2017 General Assembly session.


4:45 p.m.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has abruptly ended the House session for the day, as dozens of bills were awaiting action on what was expected to be the last day of the General Assembly session.

Mattiello made the announcement as the session began on Friday, and wished his colleagues a happy Fourth of July.

It was not clear when they would return or what prompted the action.

The Senate has not yet passed a $9.2 billion budget plan for the fiscal year that begins Saturday.

Senate spokesman Greg Pare says that chamber is moving forward.


1:30 p.m.

The Rhode Island General Assembly winds down its session with votes pending on a number of issues, including whether to take guns away from people on domestic restraining orders and whether to outlaw the use of cellphones while driving.

The Senate is expected to vote on a $9.2 billion budget plan to reduce car taxes and make cuts to close a $134 million shortfall. The budget takes effect in the fiscal year beginning Saturday.

Among the measures already sent to the governor for her signature is a measure to allow law enforcement access to an electronic database of prescription painkillers.

Both the House and Senate have passed bills to mandate paid time off for workers who call in sick, but with some differences, so the bills must be reconciled.

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