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Budget Debate Set To Begin In Massachusetts House

The Massachusetts State House

The Massachusetts House begins debate Monday on a proposed state budget.

The starting point for the budget debate is the nearly $41 billion spending plan recommended by the House Ways and Means Committee. 

State Rep. Stephen Kulik of Worthington, the vice chairman of the committee, said a full week has been reserved for debate on the House floor.

"If past history holds, then we will have approximately 1,000-1,200 budget amendments to go through," said Kulik.

The budget recommended by the Democratic House leadership would increase state spending by 3.5 percent with slightly more money directed to education and drug treatment programs than what was recommended by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

The State Senate will weigh in with its budget plan in May.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.