This is the second straight legislative budget the Republican governor has smiled upon after vetoing the first two budgets of his administration. Both vetoes were overridden by Democrat-dominated legislature.

The budget goes to the Senate Finance Committee today and it is expected to be approved by the full Senate by the end of the week, when the General Assembly plans to adjourn for the year.

Carcieri’s comments come just a week after his chief of staff expressed misgivings with the budget as it was released by the House Finance Committee. House Finance Chairman Steven Costantino said discussions with the governor’s staff began four or five days before the budget was passed.

Among those, he said were science and technology issues Carcieri had proposed in his original budget that were cut by the finance committee but restored by the full House. These included nearly a million dollars for professional development of public school teachers in math and science and a quarter-million dollars for the pilot "Physics First" program, which changes the way science is taught in public schools.

The House also restored almost half of the $1.2 million Carcieri wanted to reimburse Warwick for the burden of T.F. Green Airport. Carcieri made this part of the Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) funding to cities and towns, but Costantino said the House put $675,000 toward a new program called "Airport Impact."

Carcieri was happy that the House upped the ante on his proposal to continue the phase-out of the state’s car tax, which he says provides property tax relief to Rhode Islanders. The legislature also added about $11 million to his proposal for education aid to cities and towns, which he said was the largest in six years.

The House rejected, however, the governor’s system for divvying up those funds. While Carcieri’s plan reimbursed school districts for the increased cost of pension payments, the House went for a 4.8 percent across the board increase to all cities and towns.

The governor also applauded the House leadership’s flat tax plan, that allows the state’s richest taxpayers to opt for an 8 percent flat tax, without any deductions, rather than the current income tax calculations. Carcieri said this will bring Rhode Island’s tax scheme more in line with neighboring Massachusetts, allowing the state to compete for the entrepreneurs who create jobs.

Carcieri praised House cuts that will result in 420 fewer state employees this year, but said it took away several of the tools he had hoped to use to achieve that. The governor wanted to abolish the rule that allows employees who have been with the state for 20 years or more to avoid being laid off, even if their jobs are eliminated.

He said lawmakers also took his cue to stop adding new children of illegal aliens on the state RIte Care insurance program. Carcieri wanted to cut about 3,000 illegal immigrant children from the plan but the House voted to stop adding new children to the rolls after this year. "Our compromise was leave the cohort that’s there now on, but let’s not be a magnet" for new immigrants."

This is cache, read story here