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      State lawmakers present budget plan

      Today at the State Capitol, after months of wrangling, a budget agreement from state representatives.The agreement cuts most agencies across the board five and a half percent, some more, some less.The governor's office, cut 3%, but the board of education saw a boost of 3.3%."We knew we were going to have to be extremely creative," said Rep. Scott Martin.Martin, the chair of appropriations and budget says the plan takes about 90 million from reserve funds to cushion the blow of cuts, the other $100 million comes agency cuts."It was not easy. It wasn't comfortable doing all that. We know anytime you make cuts, there are impacts," Martin said.But state lawmakers said they put a priority on capitol repairs and pay increases.$36.7 million will pay for a 6 percent pay increase to nearly 8,000 employees.And after several attempts this session to pass a measure to pay for capitol repairs, lawmakers included a $120 million, 10-year bond in the budget package, a bond that won't go to the voters.Speaker Jeff Hickman says the issue simply cannot wait."The building has to be repaired. It's an embarrassment. The situation it's in now," Hickman said.
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