RI House to try again with budget

Top lawmakers in Rhode Island have tweaked an $8.2 billion state budget plan to resolve an impasse over pension contributions.

The new plan would reduce funds for a new road and bridge financing program and leave some state jobs vacant to raise the money to balance the budget.

A $12.9 million budget gap was created when rank-and-file lawmakers rejected a proposal in the budget to skip a $12.9 million pension payment.

The House is debating the budget Wednesday and hopes to approve it later in the day. House passage would send the budget to the Senate.

Earlier, lawmakers rejected a call to default on money the state owes for its failed investment in former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's video game company 38 Studios.

The House voted 53-19 in favor of including the $2.5 million payment.

Several lawmakers wanted the state to default on the money, which is owed to bond holders for a $75 million loan guarantee given to the video game company started by Schilling.

But top lawmakers and Gov. Lincoln Chafee had argued the state had no choice but to make the payment. They warned that defaulting would have dire financial implications for the state.