$99M for snow removal; House sends $325M supplemental budget to Senate.

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Byline: John J. Monahan

The following correction was published in the Telegram & Gazette on April 1, 2011:

BOSTON - A request for additional snow removal funding for cities and towns was not taken up Wednesday by the House of Representatives. Because of a reporter's error, the status of the funding was incorrect in a story in yesterday's Telegram & Gazette.

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BOSTON - House Democrats voted through a $325 million supplemental budget bill yesterday, but drew the line at a Republican push to increase spending by another $25 million to give cities and towns more snow removal money.

House Democrats had agreed to include $50 million in additional funding for cities and towns to help pay off their snow removal bills, and $49 million in additional snow removal funds for state highway clearing operations.

But when Republicans argued cities and towns needed $25 million more, their amendment was blocked, with approval of a substitute amendment to send it to study. The referral to study was adopted on a 118-34 vote that had all 31 Republicans and only three Democrats voting against the blocking maneuver.

The supplemental budget, approved in what was only the fifth formal House session of the Legislature since last August, authorizes $200 million in federal funding for Medicaid-waiver reimbursements and about $125 million in new state revenue.

In protest to the Democrats' rejection of the additional snow removal funds, a number of Republicans, including Rep. Richard Bastien of Gardner, Ryan C. Fattman of Sutton, and Kevin J. Kuros of Uxbridge, voted against the final supplemental spending bill.

"I decided I was not going to vote for it, if they did not include the additional $25 million for cities and towns," Mr. Bastien said.

Reps. George N. Peterson Jr., R-Grafton, and Paul K. Frost, R-Auburn, pleaded with House members to vote down Democratic amendments to block the extra snow...

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