Mass. Gov. Has Until Week’s End To Sign Budget

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick has until the end of the week to take action on a $34 billion budget approved by state lawmakers.

The spending bill for the 2014 fiscal year that began July 1 includes additional aid for cities and towns, and enough funding for the University of Massachusetts to avoid a tuition increase.

The budget relies partially on $500 million in new taxes, including hikes in gasoline and cigarette taxes, which were approved in a separate transportation finance bill now on Patrick’s desk.

Patrick has called for a change in the transportation bill to allow gasoline taxes to increase even more if tolls are removed from the Massachusetts Turnpike’s western portion.

Lawmakers have rejected the change.

The state is currently operating on a stopgap budget.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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