No contingency plan has been set in case state budget deadline is missed

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | May 27, 2015 9:45 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

(Harrisburg) -- Governor Tom Wolf says he's expecting to sign a budget by the June 30th deadline.

But a backup plan hasn't been set up yet in the event negotiations run past the end of June.

Governor Wolf says he'll use the month of June to develop a contingency plan. 

"Yes. Obviously, usually governors use the month of June to create contingency plans. I'm still going under the expectation that we can have a budget, a good budget, on time," he says.

At a press conference Tuesday, Wolf was asked how he'd react if GOP legislators simply passed their own version of the budget in order to meet the deadline.

Spokespeople in both the House and Senate Republican caucuses say they're not aware of such a strategy.

Wolf says it hasn't come up.

"We haven't talked about that. We haven't talked about that, I'm not sure that's what they're going to do or not," he adds.

As for the budget itself, Wolf and Republicans will need to figure out how to close a deficit of between $1.5 and $2 billion.

Wolf says progress is getting made in negotiations, but wouldn't speak to specifics. Controversial issues like pensions and property tax reform also haven't been resolved.

In recent weeks, Wolf has criticized business groups for failing to support a key part of his spending plan - a natural-gas tax - but the groups say it would hurt the industry.

As negotiations over the budget continue, the Republican-controlled state Legislature returns to session next Monday.

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