News

House passes $29.1B GOP budget plan, headed to the Senate

Written by The Associated Press | Jun 25, 2014 3:47 PM
State_capitol3.jpg

(Harrisburg) -- A $29.1 billion Republican-penned budget plan that makes higher payments to public schools, human services and public pensions is headed for certain changes in the Pennsylvania state Senate.

The bill, made public barely two days ago, passed today, 110-93 over the objections of Democrats. Five days are left in the fiscal year.

Overall, it would increase spending by about $727 million, or almost 2.6 percent, over the current year's approved budget. Another $200 million would go on the books of off-budget programs or the current year's books. Democrats say it is inadequate for public schools.

Perhaps most glaring is its reliance on $380 million from the unlikely sell-off of the state's wine and liquor operations as part of an effort to paper over a massive revenue shortfall.

An earlier version of this story is below:

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has begun debate on a $29.1 billion Republican-penned budget plan that calls for increases for public schools, human services and public pensions.

The bill, made public barely 24 hours ago, was poised for passage today, but faces certain changes in the Senate.

Overall, it would increase spending by about $727 million, or almost 2.6 percent, over the current year's approved budget. Another $200 million would go on the books of off-budget programs or the current year's books.

Perhaps most glaring is its reliance on $380 million from the unlikely sell-off of the state's wine and liquor operations.

Democrats says the funding increase for public schools is inadequate and are pressing for higher taxes on natural gas drilling to generate hundreds of millions of dollars.

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