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Mass. lawmakers racing to finish new state budget
BOSTON -- Time is running out for Massachusetts lawmakers to pass a final state budget before the start of the new fiscal year.
A six-member House and Senate committee has been negotiating behind closed doors trying to hammer out a compromise budget.
The talks began after the House and Senate each passed separate versions of the spending plan.
Both plans call for increases in spending over the current fiscal year, but less in total spending than had been requested by Gov. Deval Patrick in the budget proposal he filed in January.
Both budgets are also predicated on about $500 million in new revenue, including hikes in gasoline and cigarette taxes included in a separate transportation financing bill.
Patrick has said he will return the transportation bill to lawmakers, asking for changes.
The 2014 fiscal year begins Monday.