The House and Senate are on track to start budget negotiations with a gap of $2 billion in their proposals, providing fresh reasons for skepticism that lawmakers will complete a spending plan by the scheduled May 5 end of the legislative session. The Senate on Thursday published an initial draft of its budget that would spend $83.2 billion in the year that begins July 1. Shortly afterward, House leaders announced that their spending plan would check in around $81.2 billion.
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