- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 18, 2018

BOSTON (AP) - The Latest on a budget deal reached by lawmakers in Massachusetts, the only state without a permanent spending plan in place (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

State lawmakers have approved a $41.9 billion spending plan, breaking an impasse that has left Massachusetts as the only U.S. state without a permanent budget for the new fiscal year.

The House and Senate voted Wednesday to accept the compromise budget that had been announced by negotiators just hours earlier. Lawmakers suspended a rule that requires at least a one day wait before votes on conference committee reports.

The agreement increases the level of state spending by $340 million over earlier versions of the budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. The additional spending is the result of higher revenue projections after the state ended its most recent fiscal year with a $1.2 billion surplus.

The budget also directs an additional $271 million to replenish the state’s reserve fund, also known as the rainy day fund.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has ten days to review the spending plan and issue any line-item vetoes. The state will continue operating on a stopgap budget until Baker signs the bill.

12:55 p.m.

The chief House budget negotiator says Senate immigration language was dropped from a compromise spending plan over a lack of consensus.

A House-Senate conference committee reached agreement on the $41.9 billion budget Wednesday, potentially ending an impasse that has left Massachusetts the only state without a permanent budget in place.

The Senate amendment included sharp limits on cooperation between Massachusetts law enforcement agencies and federal immigration officials.

Democratic Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said he personally supported the immigration proposal but couldn’t find enough consensus to include it.

The Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Coalition said in a statement it was “deeply disappointed” by the decision, blaming it on “political pressure” from Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and conservative Democrats.


10:53 a.m.

Eighteen days into the state’s new fiscal year, House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on a $41.9 billion budget.

House and Senate negotiators announced the agreement Wednesday morning and said details would be provided later in the day.

Massachusetts is the last U.S. state without a permanent spending plan in place for the new fiscal year. State government has been operating on a stopgap budget.

The compromise must be approved by the House and Senate - it was not immediately clear if those votes would be held Wednesday - and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker would then have 10 days to review the budget and issue any line-item vetoes.

The Legislature is scheduled to end formal sessions for the year on July 31.

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