Gov. Tom Wolf delivers his budget address for the 2017-18 fiscal year to a joint session of the Pennsylvania House and Senate in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, is at left, and Lt. Gov. Michael Stack, is at right. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (The Associated Press)
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania lawmakers are returning to the Capitol with five days to pass an on-time budget and no firm agreement on how to address state government’s biggest cash shortfall since the recession.
Leaders of the House and Senate GOP majorities were expected to brief rank-and-file Republicans on Monday after spending the weekend in closed-door negotiations.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed a $32.3 billion budget plan that includes $1 billion in new spending. Republicans are aiming to cut some spending from that plan, and they’ve rejected Wolf’s accompanying $1 billion tax package to help plug the deficit.
Instead, House Republicans want to raise cash through a massive expansion of casino-style gambling and selling wholesale and retail liquor licenses. Senate Republicans are eyeing a plan to borrow money.