The state senate voted Tuesday to spend $200 million in rainy day cash to balance the budget and freeze the unemployment insurance rates businesses pay, according to The Republican.
The bill is part of an effort to close a projected $515 million shortfall in this fiscal year's $32 billion budget, caused by lower-than-expected tax revenue.
The reserve fund money will also be used to help employers avoid a projected 28 percent increase in unemployment insurance – knocking that rise down to 4.4 percent.
About $30 million of the $200 million withdrawal will be used to pay costs incurred in the state drug-lab scandal, The Republican reported.
The spending would still leave Massachusetts with $1.2 billion in reserves, which is more than most other states have, according to the legislators.
The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 36-1.