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Mass. House Approves $30.5B State Budget Proposal

The Massachusetts House has approved a $30.5 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The state budget proposal trims $800 million from MassHealth, the state's Medicaid program. It also cuts $65 million in local aid in an effort to close an estimated $1.9 billion spending gap. It does spend about $70 million more than initially proposed.

The plan also withdraws $200 million from the state's rainy day fund.

There are no tax hikes in the budget. It was approved 157-to-1.

The most contentious debate was on an amendment to dramatically strengthen the power of cities and towns to change public employee health plans. Municipal unions opposed it, saying it strips away key collective bargaining rights.

Domestic violence activists also faulted lawmakers for failing to restore funding for services to 2009 levels.

The budget debate now heads to the Senate.

This program aired on April 28, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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