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PA Budget Secretary: Fiscal Cliff Would Cost State $300 Million

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, PA. (CBS) -- Pennsylvania's budget secretary has put a price tag on the cost to Pennsylvania if the federal government goes over the so-called "fiscal cliff" in a few weeks.

Pennsylvania Budget Secretary Charles Zogby said it's estimated that mandatory federal spending cuts that would result if the president and Congressional Republicans fail to reach an agreement would cost Pennsylvania $300 million dollars in the next fiscal year -- hitting specific areas such as special education and funding for poorer schools. And Zogby says if those federal dollars are lost, the administration, as a general rule, doesn't expect to replace them.

"In an already stressed environment, we're simply not going to be in a position," he says, "and when you're looking, for instance, at the potential of $300 million in cuts, we're simply not going to be in a position to just simply backfill federal dollars."

Zogby says that, combined with rising medical assistance and pension obligations, could make Pennsylvania's upcoming budget season even tougher than the past two.

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