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Lawmakers continue closed-door talks on $38 billion Massachusetts state budget

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BOSTON — House and Senate negotiators are continuing efforts to hammer out a compromise state budget for the fiscal year that started last week.

The six-member conference committee has been meeting behind closed doors for several weeks to resolve differences over the $38 billion spending plan. The state, meanwhile, has been operating since July 1 on a $5.5 billion stopgap budget that will remain in place until the end of the month or until Gov. Charlie Baker signs a final budget.

Baker could get an update on the talks when he meets privately with legislative leaders on Monday.

While it's not known what issues are holding up a final budget deal, one area of disagreement could be over a Senate proposal to freeze the state's income tax rate while increasing the earned income tax credit.

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