PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Lawmakers have approved changes to how the Legislature sets South Dakota's budget that advocates say should give the public more opportunities to weigh in.

The House on Tuesday joined the Senate in approving the rules.

Senate Majority Leader Corey Brown says the rule changes mean lawmakers would decide how much money the state has to spend earlier in the session.

During the economic downturn, legislators wanted to wait to get the latest economic information possible. But Brown says the extra information doesn't change much.

The changes also mean budget makers will draft the state budget over two weeks, a process that currently happens much more quickly.

Brown says the new rules mean the public and legislators have a better chance to engage in the budget.

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