House GOP regroups around no-new-tax package to plug deficit

Written by The Associated Press | Sep 13, 2017 1:38 PM

(Harrisburg) -- Up against a deadline for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to freeze spending, Republicans who control Pennsylvania's House of Representatives are developing what they say is a no-new-taxes revenue package to plug state government's $2.2 billion budget gap.

House Republicans said they expect a vote Wednesday evening. With the budget stalemate is in its third month, the state's bank account is scraping bottom and Wolf is warning that he'll be unable to pay bills on time starting Friday.

Rank-and-file Republicans say the revamped package relies heavily on borrowing $1 billion against future revenues from Pennsylvania's share of 1998's multistate settlement with tobacco companies.

It transfers $630 million from off-budget programs, including accounts for transportation, environmental improvement and economic development. It also counts on $225 million in license fees from allowing an expansion of casino-style gambling.

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