House Lawmakers Open Debate on Nearly $40B State Budget 

State House - 2BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts House lawmakers are weighing amendments proposed to the nearly $40 billion state budget but so far have made few changes.

Debate on the spending plan began on Monday, a little more than two months before the state’s new fiscal year.

Among the amendments rejected by the House was one calling for the elimination of a tax credit the state offers to film producers. Lawmakers also shelved Republican-backed proposals that called for lowering the state sales tax and exempting municipal governments from the gasoline tax.

House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Brian Dempsey, a Democrat, says the budget strikes a balance between fiscal discipline and maintaining high-quality services. The budget calls for an overall increase of about 3 percent in state spending.

Debate could continue over several days.

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