- Associated Press - Saturday, March 4, 2017

BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Charlie Baker’s $40.5 billion state budget proposal is about to get its first public airing before state lawmakers.

Members of the House and Senate Ways and Means Committees are scheduled to hear testimony from administration officials and others during a hearing on Thursday.

Baker submitted his annual spending plan on Jan. 25 and legislators generally begin hearings within a week or two of the filing. No explanation was given for the longer wait.

The Republican governor’s budget would boost net spending in the next fiscal year by 2.7 percent, below a projected 3.9 percent increase in tax revenues.

The plan calls for no broad-based tax increases but would apply the state’s hotel tax to online lodging services such as Airbnb, and require more online retailers to collect sales taxes.

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