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Mass. House Approves State Budget Proposal With $500 Million In New Taxes

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BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts House has passed and sent to the Senate a $34 billion state budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

The spending plan was approved late Wednesday night on a 127-29 vote after lawmakers considered 900 amendments over three days. Most of the amendments were rejected, withdrawn, or consolidated into other proposals.

The budget includes $500 million in new taxes, including increases in the gasoline and cigarette taxes, approved earlier by the Legislature as part of a transportation finance plan.

House minority leader Rep. Brad Jones said Republicans voted against the spending plan because it was fiscally irresponsible.

Gov. Deval Patrick in January called for $1.9 billion in new taxes, including a hike in the state income tax coupled with a lowering of the sales tax.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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