Mass. Senate to debate supplemental budget bill

Massachusetts Senate to debate budget bill calling for drug lab spending, 'rainy day' transfer

Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) -- The Massachusetts Senate is poised to debate a budget bill that includes $30 million to cover costs stemming from a drug testing scandal.

The supplemental spending measure would also freeze unemployment insurance rates for businesses and transfer funds from the state's "rainy day" fund to offset a projected shortfall in tax revenues.

The House approved the budget last week.

Annie Dookhan, a former chemist at a now-closed state drug lab in Boston, was indicted on 27 counts of wrongdoing that includes fabricating drug test results and tampering with evidence. She has pleaded not guilty.

Thousands of drug convictions in Massachusetts are being reviewed.

The budget would divert $30 million in one-time tax settlements that otherwise would have been deposited into the state's rainy day fund to cover initial expenses associated with the probe.

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