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Mass. lawmakers push ahead on transportation bill

BOSTON (AP) -- Massachusetts legislative leaders are pushing ahead with plans to debate a $500 million transportation financing plan despite a veto threat from Gov. Deval Patrick.

The House has set a deadline by the end of Friday for the filing of any amendments to the bill, with debate scheduled to begin on Monday.

Patrick has called the bill proposed by House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray a "fiscal shell game" that fails to solve the state's long-term transportation problems and guarantees higher fees and taxes in the future.

The governor has proposed a much larger package of nearly $2 billion in taxes to pay for transportation and education initiatives.

DeLeo says the Legislature's plan addresses critical infrastructure needs without the dramatic tax increases proposed by Patrick.

Republicans say they will seek an amendment calling for no new taxes.