Pennsylvania House GOP Advances Its Budget Proposal
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) -- Without any Democratic votes, a state House committee has advanced a Republican budget plan, one that spends less than the budget offered by Governor Wolf, and does not call for tax increases.
Facing a multi-billion dollar deficit, the budget approved along party lines by the House Appropriations Committee spends $800 million dollars less than what Governor Tom Wolf wants.
"A budget that doesn't raise taxes, and makes key investments in education, is something that people throughout Pennsylvania support," said Republican Stan Saylor, the House Appropriations chairman.
Even though the budget maintains the increases the governor sought for basic education, it cuts the increase sought for early childhood education -- and Joe Markosek of Allegheny County, the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, panned the GOP spending plan.
"It cuts into the bone that many of us agreed was already bare," Markosek said. "It goes too much – in my opinion, in our opinion – in the wrong direction."
House Majority Leader Dave Reed, meanwhile, says he understands that the budget plan now ready for a full House vote is the beginning of a negotiation, not an end. He says new revenues to balance the budget could come from an expansion of gaming and more privatization of liquor sales.
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