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Massachusetts House and Senate lawmakers are kicking off their annual budget deliberations with a hearing on Gov. Deval Patrick's $36.2 billion spending plan for the 2015 fiscal year.
House and Senate Ways and Means committees will hear testimony from members of the Patrick administration and other top Beacon Hill officials at Tuesday's hearing, including state Treasurer Steve Grossman and Attorney General Martha Coakley.
Grossman and Coakley are also vying for the Democratic nomination to succeed Patrick, who's not running for re-election this year.
The House will be the first to produce and debate their version of the budget. The Senate then drafts and approves their version.
Both versions must be reconciled into a single budget and shipped back to Patrick before the start of the new fiscal year July 1.