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Rhode Island lawmakers begin budget work

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island lawmakers have begun their review of Gov. Lincoln Chafee's $8.2 billion state budget proposal for the next fiscal year.

The House Finance Committee received a presentation on the spending plan Wednesday.

The budget would reduce corporate income taxes and increase spending on public education.

Top lawmakers say their initial reaction to Chafee's budget proposal is positive.

Rep. Helio Melo, who leads the House Finance Committee, said his panel will give the budget a thorough examination during upcoming hearings.

Lawmakers typically make big changes before approving the budget before the end of the annual legislative session.

The state's new fiscal year begins July 1.