DENVER (AP) – The unusually jovial tone of Colorado’s state budget debate is continuing in the Senate, where lawmakers are closer to signing off on the $7.4 billion spending plan.

Democrats and Republicans have largely agreed Wednesday on the part of the state budget that lawmakers can control. The general fund cleared the House last week with only one member voting no.

The budget for the fiscal year starting in July is now awaiting final passage in the Senate. Senators made small changes to it Wednesday, but the overall spending plan is largely intact. One more vote in the Senate is required.

Lawmakers say an improving economy has boosted tax receipts and allowed the state checkbook to cover more expenses, especially in education and tax relief for seniors.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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