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Senate passes $35B Tennessee spending plan; House up next
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Senate has passed the state's nearly $35 billion spending plan for the budget year beginning July 1, and the House is expected to follow suit later in the day.

While hot button topics like social issues and guns tend to draw much attention during the legislative session, passing a balanced budget is the chief responsibility for members of the General Assembly.

Lawmakers had spent much of the week hammering out agreements over smaller budget items, while leaving intact most of the spending plan Republican Gov. Bill Haslam proposed at the start of the session.

Among the final issues to be worked out is a 17 percent reduction in the state's Hall tax on income on stocks and bonds, causing a projected loss of $28 million in state revenues.