- Associated Press - Sunday, May 15, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - Senate leaders are putting the finishing touches on a nearly $40 billion state budget.

The proposed spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 will be unveiled by the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, with debate in the full Senate expected the following week.

The House unanimously approved its version of the budget last month, calling for an overall three-percent increase in state spending and no new taxes. It also calls for a $159 million increase in state aid for cities and towns. Critics say the budget falls short in areas such as higher education and transportation.

Democratic Senate President Stan Rosenberg says the state needs to find new sources of revenue.

Tax increases can only be initiated by the House.

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