State lawmakers to hear testimony on $40B spending plan

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BOSTON (AP) — Lawmakers on Beacon Hill are reviewing Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed $40.5 billion state budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

The Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee has scheduled its first hearing on the spending plan on Thursday. Several administration officials are expected to testify along with the state treasurer, attorney general and secretary of state.

One area of contention in the budget could be a plan by Baker to control costs in the state’s Medicaid program.

The Republican governor wants to impose a $2,000 per worker assessment on companies that have more than 10 employees and do not offer health insurance benefits. He has also proposed caps on certain rates charged by medical providers.

The House will be the first chamber to debate the budget, followed by the Senate.

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