BOSTON (AP) - State lawmakers have approved a $41.9 billion spending plan, breaking an impasse that has left Massachusetts as the only U.S. state without a permanent budget for the new fiscal year. The House and Senate voted Wednesday to accept the compromise budget that had been announced by negotiators just hours earlier. It includes $340 million more in spending than in earlier versions of the spending plan for the fiscal year that began July 1.
BOSTON (AP) - An East Coast leader of the violent Central American street gang MS-13 has been sentenced to more than 19 years in prison. Federal prosecutors say Jose Adan Martinez Castro was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to racketeering conspiracy in November. They say Castro was the leader of the MS-13's East Coast Program. Castro was one of dozens of MS-13 members indicted by federal prosecutors in Massachusetts in 2016.
BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts House has voted to repeal a series of antiquated state laws, including a ban on abortion with origins dating to 1845. Supporters describe the move as a hedge against possible future rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. Republican President Donald Trump's nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the court has raised the possibility the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that created a nationwide right to abortion could be weakened. The House voted 136-9 Wednesday to remove the laws.
NEW YORK (AP) - A Justice Department spokesman says six states and New York City cheat law-abiding citizens by suing the federal government over immigration enforcement policies. Spokesman Devin O'Malley commented after two lawsuits challenged the constitutionality of federal government policies requiring immigration enforcement help in return for federal anti-crime dollars. Lawsuits in Manhattan Wednesday were filed by New York state and city, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts and Virginia.
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