Senate Budget Panel Readies Spending Package

BOSTON (AP) — A key legislative committee is putting the finishing touches on its version of the state’s $41 billion budget.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to unveil the spending package on Thursday, with debate by the full Senate likely to get underway the following week.

State revenue officials say tax collections in the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30, are running $800 million ahead of forecast. Despite the potential surplus, fiscal analysts have warned against assuming the positive trends will continue into next year.

A budget plan approved by the House would increase total spending by about 3 percent.

Adding to uncertainty are two potential November ballot questions, one calling for a reduction in the sales tax, the other imposing a surtax on the state’s highest earners.

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