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Mass. House Passes $32.4 Billion Budget08:15
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The Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill. (koalie/Flickr)
The Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill. (koalie/Flickr)

It's one of the biggest, if not the biggest, moments of any legislative session: the budget. It sets the state's spending for the coming year, and the omnibus legislation includes myriad and complex add-ons of great importance to the commonwealth.

The state budget is not just spending and revenue. The current version of the budget would impose limitations on how the poor can use welfare debit cards. It would close the Taunton State Hospital. And it would monitor the controversial immigration program called Secure Communities.

And as it so often happens, last night the budget was passed under the cover of night, while most of the state's residents slept.

In total, the House approved $32.4 billion of spending, after a scant three days of official review. The Legislature blew through more than 400 budget amendments just yesterday, according to the State House News Service, who reported the thumbs-up vote of 150-4 came as the clock struck midnight.

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This segment aired on April 26, 2012.

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