NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and the Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Senate has endorsed an $8.7 billion budget with significant tax changes that leaders called bold, sending it to Gov. Lincoln Chafee's desk.

The Senate approved the spending plan Monday 32-5, hours after the Finance Committee.

It includes several tax changes, including a cut in the corporate tax and an increase in the estate tax threshold. It includes a hike in the gas tax, and eliminates the Sakonnet toll, as part of a plan to address transportation infrastructure statewide in the coming years.

It also contains $12.3 million for the next payment related to the failed 38 Studios deal.

Senate Finance Chairman Daniel Da Ponte said the budget sends a strong signal that Rhode Island is "open for business"

Chafee hasn't said whether he'll sign it.

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