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Mass Lawmakers Approve $34 Billion Budget

Mass-MoneyBOSTON (AP) — A state budget is headed to Gov. Deval Patrick’s desk after lawmakers approved the $34 billion spending plan Monday afternoon.

The budget includes additional state aid for cities and towns and enough funding for the University of Massachusetts to avoid a tuition increase in the upcoming academic year.

The House voted 123-29 and the Senate 36-3 to accept the compromise spending plan worked out by a six-member conference committee over the past several weeks.

The new fiscal year started on Monday, but the state will continue to operate under a stopgap budget until Patrick reviews the spending plan.

The budget calls for a $21 million increase in unrestricted local aid and provides $479 million for the University of Massachusetts.

The spending plan relies in part on $500 million in new taxes included in a separate transportation finance package on Patrick’s desk.

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