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Del. budget bill approved by House, goes to Senate

Randall Chase, Associated Press

DOVER, Del. (AP) -- Delaware's House has approved a $3.7 billion operating budget for the fiscal year that starts Monday.

House members voted 40-to-1 Tuesday to approve the budget, which now goes to the Senate.

Rep. Ruth Briggs King, a Georgetown Republican, cast the only dissenting House vote, expressing concerns about budget growth.

The budget bill is about 3.6 percent, or $131 million, higher than the current year's budget. It's also about $6 million higher than the budget proposed by Democratic Gov. Jack Markell in January.

Lawmakers say much of increase stems from higher costs for Medicaid, state employee retirement and health plans, and school enrollment.

But lawmakers also padded Markell's recommended budget with millions of dollars in their own additional spending proposals.