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School Funding, Overtime Rule Were Key Trade In Pennsylvania Budget Deal

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A key trade that sealed a budget deal between Gov. Tom Wolf and Republicans who control the Legislature was a $100 million injection of cash into Pennsylvania's poorest public schools in exchange for the governor backing off a regulatory expansion of eligibility for overtime pay.

Wolf, a Democrat, had sought more than $1 billion in new, higher funding for public schools, but met Republican resistance.

He settled for $300 million, including the unique idea of setting aside $100 million of that strictly for school districts historically disadvantaged by how Pennsylvania distributes aid to schools.

In exchange, Wolf agreed to a provision repealing a regulation he pushed through in 2019 to expand the range for lower-wage salaried workers who must receive time-and-a-half pay for any time they work over 40 hours in a week, said York County state Rep. Stan Saylor, the House Appropriations Committee chairman.

The first step of the regulation was scheduled to effect in October.

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry had made repealing the overtime regulation a top priority, said Sam Denisco, the chamber's vice president of government affairs.

The $100 million in so-called "level-up" school funding will go to 100 school districts, including $39.5 million to Philadelphia and about $6.5 million for Reading and Allentown apiece.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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