State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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What do we know about Tom Wolf's budget?

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Feb 7, 2017 5:42 AM

The governor has promised a significantly different approach in his third budget proposal. (Photo by AP)

(Harrisburg) - Late Tuesday morning, Governor Tom Wolf is scheduled to give an address that'll set the tone in the legislature for the rest of the fiscal year.

That's right. It's budget time.

So what we already know about the financial plan Wolf says will help boost the commonwealth out of its multi-billion-dollar structural deficit?

In his last two budget addresses, the Democratic governor attempted to push broad-based tax increases through a resistant, GOP-controlled legislature. He was unsuccessful both times.

This year, he's promising a different approach. Instead of hikes to sales and income tax, Wolf has said he's focusing on restructuring government to run more cheaply.

Senate minority leader, Democrat Jay Costa, said this will be a lean year. But he added, he's expecting some spending increases in at least one area.

"Investments in education continue to be one of the things we want to do," Costa said. "Probably won't be able to do the same level we've done in years past, but we want to make certain that we have the focus on K-12 and Pre-K."

The only new levy Wolf has mentioned thus far is a potential tax on Marcellus Shale gas production. Republicans have indicated they'll oppose it.

Wolf has already made some moves to cut state spending. For instance, this year he announced the closure of the state's oldest prison, and consolidation of four major health agencies.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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