Md. Senate passes $38.7B budget

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has approved the state's $38.7 billion budget.

The Senate voted Saturday to agree to some fine-tuning that was done by a panel of House and Senate lawmakers that worked out some differences in the budget between the two chambers.

The House of Delegates still needs to pass the conference committee report for the legislature to finish its budget work this year.

Maryland lawmakers avoided deep cuts this year after a drop in estimated revenues, largely by tapping $200 million originally set aside to strengthen the finances of the state's pension system.

In 2011, lawmakers agreed to pay $300 million above its required annual pension payment to shore up unfunded liabilities in the pension system. Lawmakers plan to gradually restore the full $300 million over several years.

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