Mass. Senate Launches Debate On $30.5B Budget Plan

The Massachusetts Senate has begun debate on its proposed $30.5 billion state budget, quickly voting to restore $3 million for summer jobs for at-risk youth.

The Senate rejected another amendment that would have created a permanent sales tax holiday weekend. Sales tax holidays are popular with shoppers and merchants, but critics say the state can't afford the loss of tax dollars.

Senate Democrats say their spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1 protects the state's most vulnerable residents while spending slightly less than budgets proposed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Gov. Deval Patrick.

The Senate plan includes no new taxes and dips into the state's one-time savings accounts for $440 million.

It closes an estimated $1.9 billion spending gap without additional federal stimulus dollars.

This program aired on May 25, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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