Talks To Begin On A Final Version Of State's $42.7B Budget

BOSTON (AP) — State budget negotiations are about to get started at the Massachusetts Statehouse.

A House-Senate conference committee is expected to begin closed-door talks on a final version of the roughly $42.7 billion spending plan on Wednesday. The new fiscal year begins July 1, but the Legislature has missed that deadline in the past. Lawmakers last year didn't deliver a budget to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk until mid-July.

There are several key differences between the current House and Senate budgets.

The Senate has proposed new taxes on prescription opioid manufacturers and on sales of vaping products, neither of which are in the House plan.

And while both chambers fund the University of Massachusetts at the same level, the Senate is also calling for a one-year freeze on tuition and fees.

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