HEADLINES : Massachusetts
Mass. House passes $32.4 billion budget for fiscal 2013 with 150-4 vote at midnight
House Speaker Robert DeLeo today is praising the $32.4 billion budget passed by lawmakers as a spending plan that will provide the state with a "bright economic future'' and one that makes necessary reform in a key welfare program.
Around midnight Wednesday, House members voted 150-4 to approve the spending plan for fiscal 2013, with four Republicans dissenting. The passage came after what the State House News Service described as a sharply worded debate among Democrats over changes made to the EBT welfare program.
Some members of DeLeo's leadership team were among the 33 Democrats voting against a change in the welfare program banning recipients from using cash benefits to buy alcohol, cigarettes, pornography and other purposes.
However, the changes were approved when 122 lawmakers, including 33 Republicans, voted in favor of the plan.
The Senate will take up its own budget proposal in June. The chambers will negotiate any differences before sending a compromise package to Governor Deval Patrick in time for the next budget year which begins July 1.