Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri made a formal request to the General Assembly leadership to allow him to delay his fiscal 2010 budget proposal until Feb. 24. The governor had planned to release his proposal this week.

In letters to House Speaker William Murphy and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, both Democrats, the Republican Carcieri said the extension would allow his administration time to incorporate additional resources from the federal stimulus package. In a televised speech last month, Carcieri said the state could receive upwards of $125 million of federal stimulus funds.

Carcieri spokeswoman Amy Kempe said another reason for the delay request was that the General Assembly had yet to act on the governor’s current-year budget modifications that he proposed last month to close a $357.4 million gap. They include modifications to the pension system that Kempe said would require a rebasing of benefit expenses in fiscal 2010. Among the proposed pension changes are a minimum retirement age of 59 and replacing a defined benefit system with a defined contribution plan for new state employees.

The delay would be the second one requested this year.

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