Deadline approaches for state budget

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HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY — The clock is ticking ever closer to the deadline for a budget here in Pennsylvania. It’s due June 30. But where do things stand and can it get passed on time for the start of the new fiscal year?

Nine days before the budget is due in Pennsylvania and things around the capitol seem more quiet than usual.

“I would tee it up to a little bit of good economic news. Obviously, a revenue surplus makes it a little less contentious,” House Appropriations Committee chair Representative Matt Bradford said.

All sides seem in agreement that a budget is likely to pass on time this year for a second year in a row. But the governor last week saying he’s yet to see a budget draft from Republicans.

“I’ve asked legislators to roll up their sleeves and get a lot of things done. So, it’s a matter of how much of a really ambitious agenda can we get done?” Governor Wolf said.

The governor’s $34 billion budget calls for things like an increase in minimum wage.

Rep. Grove: “I don’t think we’re going to see any movement on minimum wage,” Representative Grove said.

Other disagreements include the governor’s request for $15 million to help counties cover the cost of new voting machines and Republican efforts to end a $50 million cash assistance program for the poor who are temporarily unable to work.

The House passed a bill to end that program this week. House GOP spokesperson Mike Straub says final spending totals are nearly complete and negotiations will continue over the weekend. In a statement, he goes on to say: “We anticipate voting on a spending plan mid to late next week and have it on the Governor’s desk ahead of the deadline.”


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