Massachusetts Senate to Begin Debating $42.7B State Budget

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate is set to begin debating its version of a proposed $42.7 billion state budget.

On Tuesday, Lawmakers will begin considering hundreds of amendments to the spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The budget unveiled by the Senate Ways and Means Committee earlier this month would increase state spending by about 3% over the current year, with no increase in taxes most residents pay.

The budget includes a proposed tax on pharmaceutical companies that sell opioid medications in Massachusetts, and a new excise tax on e-cigarettes and vaping supplies.

Rallies and sit-ins are expected to accompany the opening of Senate debate. Protesters are pressing for more education spending.

The Senate budget would freeze tuition and fees at University of Massachusetts for one year.

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