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Governor uses broad definition to claim $2B in cuts, savings

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 11, 2017 9:29 AM
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Photo by Office of Gov. internet stream

Governor Tom Wolf delivers his 2017 Budget Address.

(Harrisburg) -- Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf promised $2 billion in cuts and savings in his new proposal to fix Pennsylvania's deficit-riddled finances, but his definition is turning out to be a broad one.

It counts potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in cost avoidances that might have materialized anyway.

It also includes hundreds of millions from non-tax cash sources. Some may not be politically polarizing. But the Republican-controlled Legislature may not like others.

That includes higher income tax receipts by raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour or assessing municipalities a $25 per-person fee for free full-time state police coverage.

Wolf's press secretary, J.J. Abbott, says the cuts and savings category includes responsible items that help address Pennsylvania's stubborn post-recession deficit and ease the burden on general tax collections.

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