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Patrick Facing Deadline For Budget Action

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Gov. Deval Patrick faces some complicated decisions as he nears a deadline for action on the state’s $34 billion state budget.

The spending plan is balanced in part by $500 million in new taxes contained in a separate transportation finance bill that remains unsigned. Patrick returned that bill to lawmakers last week seeking an amendment to address lost revenue if tolls are removed from the western portion of the Massachusetts Turnpike.

The Legislature isn’t scheduled to discuss the amendment until next week, but Patrick must act on the budget by Friday. The Governor was asked if he would make cuts in the spending plan in light of the transportation bill impasse.

Patrick said his staff was still trying to sort things out and added, however, that he had never signed a budget that wasn’t balanced.

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