Gov. Patrick To Unveil State Budget This Week

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is preparing to unveil a proposed state budget that calls for spending cuts and higher taxes on tobacco, candy and soda.

Patrick will ship his spending plan for the next fiscal year to the Legislature on Wednesday, kicking off several months of debate on the budget. Predictions are for another tight year for state finances, despite the improving economy.

The administration outlined plans last week to raise $260 million in new revenue, including a 50-cent-per-pack hike in the cigarette tax and applying the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax to candy and soda.

Officials also told municipal leaders to expect no more than the same amount of unrestricted local aid as in the current year, though the budget will seek a $145 million increase in school aid.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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