Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers sobering to huge budget deficit

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 12, 2017 10:34 AM

Photo by Office of Gov. internet stream

Governor Tom Wolf delivers his 2017 Budget Address.

(Harrisburg) -- With three weeks of hearings behind them, Pennsylvania's Republican majorities now have months of budget-making ahead of them.

Perhaps more than ever, they are willing to increase taxes to deal with the state's persistent post-recession deficit.

The state's underlying fiscal imbalance is perhaps as bad as it's been since the recession ended.

For now, top Republicans are saying that a tax increase is a last resort and giving little sign how they'll handle Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's money-raising ideas.

But many rank-and-file Republicans seem more resigned than ever to the reality that the nearly $3 billion deficit cannot be swept away with spending cuts.

Republican House Rep. Jeff Pyle of Armstrong County says Republicans know they have to come up with some money.

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