State Lawmakers Debate Patrick Budget Plan

State lawmakers are reviewing the governor's $32 billion budget proposal.

At a State House hearing Friday, Patrick administration officials testified about the spending plan, which is about 3 percent higher overall than last year's.

The budget includes plans to close a prison in Norfolk, and to cut funding for subsidized lunches for senior citizens.

Senate Ways and Means Chair Stephen Brewer says the situation is complex and challenging.

"We are at a point in this budget where there are no easy cuts," he said. "None of them were easy in the last three or four years, but now we are really at a point when every one will be painful and serious."

Brewer has expressed concern that state tax collections this year are $130 million below expectations.

But, he said, "We will work through this budget process over the next three to four months, work our way through to have a prudent budget, to have a compassionate budget and a responsible budget."

This article was originally published on February 17, 2012.

This program aired on February 17, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.


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