News

Wolf, top senators cool to House GOP budget plan

Written by The Associated Press | Jun 27, 2016 4:43 PM
dave_reed.jpg

State House Majority Leader Dave Reed. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Harrisburg) -- Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the Senate's top Democrat and Republican are cool to a budget plan being assembled by the House GOP majority. 

Wolf's press secretary said Monday that the governor hasn't agreed to the House GOP's $31.5 billion spending plan. Spending legislation could get a committee vote later Monday, four days before the state government's fiscal year-budget deadline.

Senate Republican leader Jake Corman says he hasn't agreed to the House GOP's spending plan, or their plan to support it with across-the-board tax increases on tobacco products.

Meanwhile, Senate Democratic leader Jay Costa says the House GOP plan doesn't include money sought by Wolf and Democrats for distressed school districts or heroin addiction treatment. Costa also says the House GOP plan to fund the budget is inadequate.

The House GOP also hopes to reap revenue from tax and fees in legislation that would make Pennsylvania the fourth state to allow casino-style gambling online.

An earlier story is below:

State House Majority Leader Dave Reed says Republicans are assembling an approximately $31.5 billion budget plan that will be paid for partly by higher taxes on tobacco products. 

Reed spoke to reporters briefly today between meetings in the Capitol.

He says he hopes to get a budget bill through the Appropriations Committee within hours.  

The state government's 2016-17 fiscal year starts Friday. 

It's not clear whether Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, top Democratic lawmakers or Senate Republicans will support the plan. 

A $31.5 billion budget would be a five percent increase.

Wolf and Democrats had pressed for a budget of closer to $32 billion.

Reed says the package will include $200 million more for public schools operations and instruction, about a three percent increase. Wolf had sought $250 million extra. 

It'll be packaged with higher taxes on a variety of tobacco products, including cigarettes, and revenue from legislation to make Pennsylvania the fourth state to allow casino-style gambling online.  

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