- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts House Speaker says tax hikes and increased fees are off the table as lawmakers work to close an estimated gap of up to $750 million in the new state budget.

Democrat Robert DeLeo told reporters Wednesday that House and Senate budget negotiators will have to find other ways to close the gap in the approximately $40 billion state spending plan for the 2017 fiscal year that begins July 1.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday the revised projections for the new fiscal year reflect a drop-off of between $450 million and $750 million in anticipated revenues compared to original estimates.

The House and Senate have already passed separate versions of the budget. A six-member conference committee is trying to hammer out a final compromise version.

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