Now the real work on the state budget begins

Written by Tim Lambert and Radio Pennsylvania | Apr 2, 2015 6:28 AM

(Harrisburg) -- State budget hearings have wrapped up.

Now, the real work starts, as state lawmakers and Governor Tom Wolf face a three-month period of tense negotiations.

Governor Tom Wolf rolled out an ambitious budget plan earlier this month.

But, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman says reality is going to have to set in as the governor gets ready for critical negotiations with the Republican majorities in both the House and Senate.

"The sooner we sort of get into the reality of what we can do and begin to work off of that, I think the better we all will be," he says. "We're looking forward to the process and we certainly have every intention of being done by June 30th."

Corman recently said he's prepared for a late budget.

This year, Senate Republicans have insisted their top priority is passing a public pension overhaul that reaps short-term and long-term savings for the state's deeply indebted retirement systems.

Corman has said a Senate GOP pension proposal could be introduced next month that would switch future state hires to a 401(k)-style retirement benefit.
Wolf does not support changes to state pensions.

The GOP-controlled legislature could not pass a pension overhaul during former Republican Governor Tom Corbett's four-year term.

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