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Mass. House Passes $30 Billion Budget That Slashes Medicaid Funding

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Massachusetts State House in Boston (credit: AP)

Massachusetts State House in Boston (credit: AP)

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BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts House has approved a $30.4 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The state budget proposal trims $800 million from MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program. It also cuts $65 million in local aid in an effort to close an estimated $1.9 billion spending gap.

The plan also withdraws $200 million from the state’s rainy day fund.

There are no tax hikes in the budget. It was approved 157-to-1.

The most contentious debate was on an amendment to dramatically strengthen the power of cities and towns to change public employee health plans. Municipal unions opposed it, saying it strips away key collective bargaining rights.

Domestic violence activists also faulted lawmakers for failing to restore funding for services to 2009 levels.

The budget debate now heads to the Senate.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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