Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee last week released a $7.66 billion fiscal 2012 budget proposal that aims to broaden the sales tax while reducing the rate by one percentage point.

Chafee, an independent, took office on Jan. 4. His $7.66 billion spending plan closes a $331 million estimated deficit by cutting $153.4 million of spending and generating $162.3 million of additional revenue, according to budget documents. The state’s fiscal year begins July 1.

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