AFTER WADING THROUGH ours of debate and considering hundreds of amendments, the Senate late Wednesday night unanimously approved a $3.82 billion package to steer special federal relief funds and surplus state budget revenues into virtually every corner of the state.
All three Senate Republicans, who unsuccessfully sought to double the amount of unemployment relief for businesses and implement a two-week state sales tax holiday in the bill, joined Democrats to vote 38-0 in favor of the massive spending proposal (S 2564) that carves up about half of the state’s American Rescue Plan Act relief funding.
Now the arguably harder part — negotiating a final bill between the two branches after the House and Senate versions diverged on many specifics — begins. The one caveat is that there are billions more dollars still in reserve, which could make reaching agreement easier.
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