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Last U.S. Budget Deadlock Settled

October 14, 1999

BOSTON (AP) _ State House and Senate leaders have agreed on the basics of a compromise budget, a deal that will bring an end to the three-month old budget deadlock _ the longest in the country.

Massachusetts was the last state in the country without a budget.

The proposed budget for the fiscal year that should have begun July 1 will include tax cuts, prescription drug relief for the elderly, aid to schools and financing changes for Boston’s public transportation agency.

State government has been running on monthly temporary budgets since the July 1 deadline passed.

``It’s a win for the people. Unfortunately it took this long,″ said Rep. Michael Ruane of Salem. ``It’s a classic case of give and take.″

Until last week, Massachusetts wasn’t the only state to have a budget deadlock. But Wisconsin’s logjam broke, leaving Massachusetts alone without a budget.

And it’s really not quite over: Details of the budget must now be hammered out by the conference committee and then the bill goes to the full Legislature. It could take two weeks before it’s placed on the desk of Gov. Paul Cellucci to be signed into law.

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