A ‘get out of town’ budget appears inevitable, lawmakers say

 The Pennsylvania State Capitol dome in Harrisburg (NewsWorks File Photo)

The Pennsylvania State Capitol dome in Harrisburg (NewsWorks File Photo)

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.

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