State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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House passes GOP budget bill despite united Dem opposition

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Apr 5, 2017 4:49 AM

The budget proposal was able to pass on the strength of only Republican votes. (Photo by AP)

(Harrisburg) -- The state House has passed a Republican budget proposal that includes no new taxes and makes deep, across-the-board cuts to Governor Tom Wolf's spending plan.

The bill was only introduced two days ago and has been fast-tracked despite near-unanimous Democratic opposition.

It passed quickly on party lines, with just four Republicans breaking ranks to dissent.

House Majority Leader Dave Reed said it's a plan that will "get government back to its core functions.

"From pension and debt obligations to our correctional spending to entitlement programs--this budget seeks to being those costs back in line with reality," he told the House.

Meanwhile Democrats, like House Appropriations Committee Minority Chair Joe Markosek, condemn the sharp reductions in Human Services spending.

"This Republican budget bill cuts into the bone that many of us agree is already bare," he said.

"The economy is growing," he added. "More people are working. And yet we move on Pennsylvania taxpayers like they're the ones who have done something wrong."

The proposed cuts have also been criticized by the County Commissioner's Association, which said in a statement that they'll only increase local tax burdens.

The measure now goes to the Senate, where it will likely hit some roadblocks.

A Senate GOP spokeswoman has indicated there are some components the caucus intends to change.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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