Gov. Patrick sign $36B spending plan, asks lawmakers to expand budget-cutting authority


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BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick has signed into law the final state budget of his administration.

Patrick, whose second and final term ends in January, said Friday that the $36.5 billion state budget continues his administration's investment in "education, innovation and infrastructure."

The governor also announced $16 million in line-item vetoes, representing only a fraction of the total spending in the budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1. He also vetoed a provision to exempt the MBTA's retirement system from the state's public records law.

In an unexpected development, Patrick also asked the Legislature to expand his power to make targeted spending reductions during his final months in office, without first seeking approval from lawmakers.

An administration official said the request was not tied to any specific budgetary concern.

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