PA Lawmakers Return To Tackle Budget Stalemate

HARRISBURG (AP) – Pennsylvania’s deficit-riddled finances are entering new territory, as Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf tries to balance the budget without involvement from a Republican-controlled Legislature. The PA House and Senate return to session today while Wolf works on a $2.2 billion budget-balancing strategy that relies heavily on borrowing. Lawmakers have not yet sorted out a way to finance a $32 billion budget bill they passed June 30. They were pursuing a plan relying primarily on borrowing, siphoning cash from off-budget programs, and authorizing more casino-style gambling, but efforts stalled when the House balked at raising taxes. Bucks County Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, a Republican, says he’s working on a compromise measure to impose a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production, despite opposition from House Republican leaders. The tax is a top priority of Gov. Wolf.

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