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Spending bill that includes funds for Medicaid, substance abuse approved by House


BOSTON — The Massachusetts House has approved a spending bill that closes the book on the last fiscal year, which ended in July.

The measure approved by a unanimous vote Wednesday includes more than $200 million in Medicaid payments that House leaders said were tied to the breakdown of the state's health connector website in 2013 and 2014.

The bill, which now goes to the Senate, also provides $27 million to help combat the heroin overdose crisis and funds contracts recently negotiated with unions at the University of Massachusetts.

In all, House Ways and Means chairman Brian Dempsey says, the plan calls for $248 million in net state spending, after federal reimbursements.

The bill would also return $75 million that had previously been withdrawn from the state's so-called rainy day fund.

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