A Senate committee has approved a proposed budget with a more than 4 percent increase in spending next year for public education and government programs ranging from prisons to health care.
The Finance Committee unanimously endorsed the budget on Friday, sending the measure to the 42-member Senate for consideration in the next several days.
The measure calls for spending nearly $5.9 billion next year — an increase of nearly $246 million and $6.5 million more than a House-passed budget bill.
Like the House plan, the measure provides 1 percent pay raises for state workers and educators.
The panel scrapped a House provision for a $3 million pilot program of merit pay to reward high-performing teachers, and instead earmarked $2 million for stipends for teachers agreeing to work in low-performing schools.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.