By STEVE LeBLANC, Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — The Senate Ways and Means Committee has released a nearly $34 billion state budget proposal for the fiscal year starting July 1.
The plan represents a spending increase of $1.4 billion or about 4.4 percent over the current fiscal year, including $403 million in new spending on housing, education, mental health and veteran services programs.
The proposal also relies on $430 million in new revenues from a joint transportation proposal agreed to with the House last month.
The Senate plan also uses $350 million from the state’s rainy day fund. That would leave the fund with a balance of about $1.3 billion.
The House passed a $34 billion budget last month that increases total state spending 4 percent over current year levels.
Both legislative proposals are smaller than the 7 percent spending increase sought by Gov. Deval Patrick.