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Mass. Senate Will Likely Spend Days Debating $34 Billion Budget Proposal

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BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate is likely to spend several days considering a $34 billion state budget proposal.

More than 700 amendments have been filed to the spending plan outlined by the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Debate is scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

The budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 calls for an increase of $1.4 billion, or about 4.4 percent, over the current year. That includes new spending on housing, education, mental health and veteran services.

The Senate plan and a budget passed by the House last month both include $500 million in new revenue, including hikes in gasoline and cigarette taxes.

University of Massachusetts officials say the Senate version does not include enough funding to allow the school to freeze tuition and fees as it had hopes to do.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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