News

Pa. Republicans 'troubled' by spending bill veto

Written by The Associated Press | Sep 29, 2015 2:16 PM
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(Harrisburg) -- Top Republicans in the Pennsylvania Senate say they are deeply troubled by Gov. Tom Wolf's veto of a short-term spending plan.

In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati accused the first-term Democrat of holding schools and social services hostage in budget talks.

Republicans say their $11 billion, four-month spending package would have ended unnecessary hardships while budget talks continue. Democrats opposed it.

Wolf wants a multibillion-dollar tax increase to wipe out Republican funding cuts for schools and human services and to eliminate a long-term budget deficit. He also wants measures to cut residential school property taxes and impose a severance tax on the natural gas industry.

But Republicans say most Pennsylvanians can't afford the tax increase, and they're pressing Wolf to overhaul benefits in Pennsylvania's two big public employee pension systems and to privatize the state-controlled wine and liquor system.

An earlier story is below:

Pennsylvania is still without a plan to pay for government operations after Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a Republican-crafted short-term spending measure.

Wolf vetoed the three-bill package, saying it would sell out the people of Pennsylvania to oil and gas companies and special interests, increase the state government's deficit and harm its credit rating.

Wolf wants a multibillion-dollar tax increase to close a long-term budget deficit and boost aid to schools and human services.

On June 30, the governor vetoed a $30.2 billion budget package passed June 30 by Republicans who control both chambers of the Legislature. No Democratic lawmakers voted for the GOP's budget bill or short-term spending measure.

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