Massachusetts lawmakers inching closer to state budget deal

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts lawmakers appear to be inching closer to finalizing a state budget — three weeks into the new fiscal year.

The Massachusetts House has scheduled a formal session for Monday, which could indicate House leaders are growing optimistic about having a compromise version of the $42.7 billion annual spending plan ready for a final vote.

The budget was supposed to be in place July 1 for the start of the new fiscal year. Massachusetts is the only state that starts its fiscal year in July that still doesn't have a formal budget.

A $5 billion spending authorization currently in place expires July 31.

House and Senate leaders haven't identified sticking points that have caused budget negotiations to drag past the July 1 deadline for the second year in a row.