Lawmakers faced with Pennsylvania state government’s biggest shortfall since the recession are bracing for what they call a “get-out-of-town budget.”
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and leaders of the Legislature’s Republican majorities have been absorbed until recently with major pension and gambling legislation. That virtually ensures that a budget package will be hashed out in rushed, closed-door negotiations.
For now, top Republican lawmakers are sticking to talking publicly about what they can do to avoid a budget-balancing tax increase, while rank-and-file lawmakers worry about what kind of result will emerge from a slapdash budget.
Some lawmakers say a get-out-of-town budget will leave problems to fester.
That includes school districts squeezed by rising pension costs and a Department of Environmental Protection wracked by years of budget cuts.