MA House, Senate Agree On $42 Billion Budget

BOSTON (WBZ-AM/24/7 NewsSource) -- It's more than two weeks overdue, but House and Senate conferences have finally agreed on a new state budget, amounting to more than $42 billion for the fiscal year 2019.

Legislative leaders say the budget, announced Wednesday morning, honors the state's commitment to improve the lives of residents.

An amendment on immigration policy is gone from the final state budget agreed to by House and Senate negotiators. The Senate amendment would have prohibited state and local police from questioning a person about their immigration status.

House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Doug Cope that, with an end-of-the-month deadline looming, conferences knew they had to get going.

"I think, throughout the process, we were mindful of the clock," he said.

But Sanchez said the process was very complicated, and sometimes, you just get "stuck in the woods sometimes." He told reporters gathered in his office that there was no big reason it took so long for the budget to come together. 

"We wanted to make sure that, ultimately, the budget itself was a strong, balanced, responsible budget that has the greatest impact on everybody's lives in the Commonwealth," he said.

The legislature finishes major business for the year July 31. 

"This was a pretty incredible year," Sanchez said. "In all the time I've been here this has been an incredible year, and we're not finished. There's still more to be done."

Massachusetts is the last state in the country to file a budget for the fiscal year that started on July 1st.

(24/7 NewsSource contributed to this report)

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Doug Cope (@dcopewbz) reports

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