PROVIDENCE, R.I. –– The full Senate will vote on Wednesday to approve a proposed $7.7-billion state budget, following Senate Finance Committee approval on Monday.
The committee considered the House-approved budget for less than an hour before passing the plan unchanged, with only Sen. Frank A. Ciccone III, D-Providence, opposing.
Ciccone and other committee members expressed concern about the impact of some $24 million in cuts to programs and services for persons with developmental disabilities such as autism or Down syndrome. Still others were disappointed at the lack of direct funding for subsidized housing.
"Senator Ciccone and I have been absolutely hammered with e-mails this week," said Sen. James E. Doyle II, D-Pawtucket. "People are making comments that [persons with developmental disabilities] cannot help themselves. They are heart-wrenching emails."