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Mass. lawmakers approve $36.5b budget

Massachusetts lawmakers in both chambers voted overwhelmingly Monday afternoon to approve a $36.5 billion budget that boosts spending at the troubled Department of Children and Families and pours new money into drug addiction.

The bill, approved on a 144-7 vote in the House, and a voice vote in the Senate, came just hours before the fiscal year comes to an end at midnight.

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The budget relies on $250 million in one-time revenues, including about $54 million in casino licensing fees that could disappear if voters repeal the state’s casino law this fall.

Once the bill lands on his desk, Governor Deval Patrick will have 10 days to review the spending blueprint. A stop-gap measure is in place to cover state expenses until the new budget is signed.

David Scharfenberg can be reached at
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