Deal hammered out: A compromise 2014 public schools budget sailed through both the House and Senate on Wednesday, setting the stage for adjournment Thursday, nearly a week later than planned.
Smooth sailing: The revised $1.3 billion budget started out with a hearing hosted by the joint House and Senate education committees, then cruised through the Senate on a 31-3 vote. It rapidly made its way through the House in the afternoon, winning final approval with a 51-12 vote. Now it goes to Gov. Butch Otter. The Senate approved the bill Thursday morning.
Last obstacle: The budget was narrowly defeated in the Senate last week - the vote was 18-17 - forcing lawmakers to scramble in recent days to find a compromise. The final version features some minor changes, including conditions on merit pay for teachers and $3 million for pilot technology projects.