BOSTON (AP) — The debate over a new state budget now heads to a Legislative conference committee after the Massachusetts Senate this week passed its version of the $47.7 billion budget for the 2022 fiscal year beginning July 1.
The Senate added $63.7 million to the proposed budget over the course of three days of deliberations. The final spending plan was approved with unanimous bipartisan support.
Senate leaders said the budget plan maintains fiscal responsibility and recommends targeted investments to address emerging needs, safeguards the health and wellness of the state's most vulnerable populations and ensures residents will benefit equitably as the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Massachusetts Senate vowed to act on what we learned from the COVID-19 public health crisis and invest in areas that lift up our children, families, and seniors across all communities — and that is exactly what this budget does,” Democratic Senate President Karen Spilka said in a written statement.
The budget now goes to a six-member conference committee made up of three House and three Senate members tasked with hammering out a single, compromise budget.
That version will head back to each chamber for a final up or down vote, at which point the budget heads to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk for his signature. Baker can also issue vetoes.