Massachusetts House approves of plan to close state's $768M budget gap

The Democratic-controlled Massachusetts House has approved a plan aimed at closing a state budget shortfall that Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has estimated at $768 million.

The deficit-reduction plan was approved Wednesday by a near-unanimous vote and sent to the state Senate.

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The plan includes a $40 million cut in state transportation funds, coming at a time when a series of recent winter storms has snarled traffic and caused major disruptions on the MBTA.

House Ways and Means Committee chairman Brian Dempsey offered assurances that the budget reduction would be to administrative overhead and not further impact service on the T.

The House eliminated one proposal by Baker that would have given the administration more flexibility on Medicaid benefits.