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.