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Mass. Lawmakers Scramble As Formal Session Nears End

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(Photo credit: Andrea Courtois)

(Photo credit: Andrea Courtois)

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BOSTON (AP) — The two-year legislative session on Beacon Hill is heading into the homestretch.

With formal sessions set to end on July 31, a number of major bills await final action by lawmakers.

Atop that list is a health care cost containment measure. Both the House and Senate have passed versions of the bill that seeks to reduce health care expenditures by $150 billion to $160 billion over 15 years.

A conference committee has been working to reconcile differences between the two versions.

House and Senate negotiators have also been trying for months to reach consensus on a criminal sentencing bill that would include a ban on parole for three-time violent offenders.

Among other unfinished business: A bill targeting unnecessary foreclosures, a measure aimed at curbing electricity costs and a casino compact with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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