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Baker Signs Bill To Close Massachusetts Budget Deficit

Gov. Charlie Baker has signed a budget-balancing bill aimed at closing a $768 million deficit in the current spending plan.

The Republican signed the measure Friday, one day after it was given final approval by the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

The new law creates a tax amnesty program for businesses with overdue tax debts and directs that $131 million in capital gains taxes earmarked for the state's rainy day fund instead go toward reducing the deficit.

The plan also includes a $40 million cut in state transportation spending. Officials say the reduction will not further affect service on the MBTA, which has been hard-hit by a series of recent snowstorms.

Baker will now turn his attention to formulating a budget for the next fiscal year starting July 1.

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