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Speaker, Senate president have 'productive' budget meeting

Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio have indicated they may be close to resolving the state budget impasse.

Mattiello said in a statement Tuesday that he and Ruggerio had a "very productive meeting" over coffee. He says they will continue to meet in the near future.

Ruggerio issued a similar statement, saying he hopes the two can reach a conclusion "that benefits all Rhode Islanders in the near future."

The two Democratic leaders have been feuding over who bears responsibility for the two-and-a-half-week-old standoff over the state's $9.2 billion budget. The 18-day stalemate is causing uncertainty in local governments and school districts as state government operates at last year's spending levels.

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