MASSACHUSETTS BUDGET DILEMMA

Gov. Michael Dukakis and key House Democrats have decided to try to devise a $300 million consensus package to shrink the Massachusetts budget deficit. Finance Commissioner L. Edward Lashman reported state tax collections are expected to fall about $170 million short of estimates this year and potential spending increases in uncontrollable programs such as Medicaid could increase the deficit for fiscal year 1990 to $250 million. Other estimates are as high as $350 million.

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