Senate approves $24 billion budget for 2 fiscal years

Unanimous vote sets up talks with House to work out differences

 UPDATED 3:35 PM HST Apr 04, 2013

The Hawaii state Senate has approved a $24 billion budget for the next two fiscal years, setting up talks with the House to work out differences in the proposals that both fall short of what the governor wants.

The Senate unanimously approved its plan Thursday.  It would finance state operations with $11.9 billion in fiscal 2013-14 and $12.1 billion in 2014-2015.

The House version of the budget is less generous at $23.3 billion.

Sen. Sam Slom, the lone Republican in the Senate, voted for the budget with reservations and presented an alternative budget that he says would put the state on better financial footing.

Sen. David Ige says his proposal is more conservative than what the governor wants because the executive budget exceeded revenue projections.

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