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Mass. House to begin debate on $32B budget plan

BOSTON (AP) -- Massachusetts House lawmakers are scheduled to begin debate on a nearly $32.3 billion state budget plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Lawmakers begin working their way through 870 proposed amendments to the spending plan on Monday.

The budget unveiled earlier this month by the House Ways and Means Committee relies on $522 million in one-time revenues, including a $400 million withdrawal from the state's so-called Rainy Day fund.

It calls for spending $14 million less than the budget proposed in January by Gov. Deval Patrick.

The House plan also rejects Patrick's call for $260 million in new revenues, including a 50-cents-per-pack cigarette tax hike and a sales tax on candy and soda.

The House budget was applauded by municipal leaders but criticized by some social services advocates.