PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- The Senate Finance Committee took up the budget bill Friday afternoon, after the House voted to approve the $8 billion spending plan .
The House of Representatives voted 57-15 to approve the bill. Legislators touted the plan -- noting it restores several programs, while rejecting some of Governor Lincoln Chafee's increased tax proposals.
$9.6 million in state and federal funding for programs for the developmentally disabled was reinstated after major cuts were made earlier in the year. Additionally, lawmakers approved $22 million to fully fund the second year of the new state education aid formula, as well as an additional $11 million to accelerate the implementation.
"In an era when we've often struggled to even maintain funding for many of our programs, we were able to get more money to schools sooner than expected, and also speed up money for distressed communities," Rep. Helio Melo said in a news release.
The House bill did not include the governor's proposal to raise the state's meals tax from 8% to 10%. It also rejected expanding the hotel tax, and repealed a sight-seeing tax implemented last year.
However, the budget does include a tax on clothing costing more than $250. Officials expect that to generate $5.9 million in new revenue. The bill also makes taxi fares, limo services, as well as pet and veterinary services all subject to the state sales tax.
"No jobs lost, we're still in business, we can keep rolling. Things will get better," said Tom Schmitz, a car wash manager.
Additionally, smokers will see a 4 cent tax increase per pack of cigarettes, a move lawmakers claim will raise more than $1.8 million for the state.
Ray LaPlume, a cigarette smoke explained what the tax increase will mean for him.
"I'll have to try and quit smoking. Cause I can't afford it."
The House also approved one of the governor's more controversial proposals : moving the Sakonnet River Bridge from the Department of Transportation's oversight to the Turnpike and Bridge Authority's. The move clears the way for tolls to be added to the bridge.
"If you live in Fall River or Dartmouth, or New Bedford and you want to go to the beach, Atlantic Beach Club. You want to go to Flo's and have fried clams, you're not gonna do that anymore," said Rep. John Edwards (D) of Tiverton-Portsmouth.
The Senate has scheduled a vote for Monday.
An auction is being held for the intellectual property of former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's bankrupt video game company.
Police are searching for a suspect after a woman was robbed and carjacked Tuesday night.
Firefighters used the Jaws of Life to free the driver from the vehicle, but said her injuries were not serious.
Police said Will Girard was traveling more than 100 miles per hour when he struck another vehicle at the intersection of Routes 6 and 94 in Foster.
A murder trial is expected to begin Wednesday, but without its potential star witness.