Tuesday July 3, 2012

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and top aides are hunkering down to study the final version of a proposed $32.5 billion state budget approved by lawmakers for the fiscal year that began Sunday.

The spending plan includes $898 million in local aid for cities and towns and tightens restrictions on the use of Electronic Benefit Transfer cards by welfare recipients.

It also maintains 45 beds at Taunton State Hospital, which state officials were considering closing.

The budget includes no new taxes or fees but relies on $516 million in one-time funds, including a $350 million withdrawal from the state's rainy day fund.

Patrick is meeting with aides Tuesday. He has 10 days to sign the budget after receiving it.

Lawmakers already approved a temporary spending plan to keep state government running in the meantime.


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