- Associated Press - Sunday, May 22, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts Senate is planning to debate a $39.5 billion state budget plan that increases spending on local schools and public higher education.

The proposed spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 relies on no new taxes or fees and has a bottom line lower than budget plans approved by the House and proposed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

The plan represents a 2.9 percent increase in spending over the current fiscal year.

The budget proposal also includes more rental vouchers for homeless families, money to combat elder abuse, an increase in spending to fight opioid addiction and a bump in the annual clothing allowance for homeless children.

Some of the biggest spending increases in the Senate budget are focused on education.

Debate is set to begin Tuesday.

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