As Pa. budget becomes law, some legislators cry foul

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has let the state budget become law without signing it. Lawmakers have still not agreed on a revenue package to ensure the bill is funded. (AP Photo/Marc Levy)

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has let the state budget become law without signing it. Lawmakers have still not agreed on a revenue package to ensure the bill is funded. (AP Photo/Marc Levy)

    Pennsylvania officially has a budget.

    The $31.5 billion spending plan is in effect as of midnight on Monday, without Gov. Tom Wolf’s signature. But negotiations continue on the revenue plan to back it up.

    Deadline notwithstanding, lawmakers did seem to have a productive day of talks on the spending plan.

    Senate GOP spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher called the progress “encouraging.” She said it seems likely a vote could come soon.

    “Because of what came out of today’s meeting as far as everyone feeling good about the direction of talks, we decided to keep our members around for another day,” she said.

    House Majority Leader Dave Reed, R- Indiana, said the next 24 hours will be crucial.

    However, one conservative contingent in the House was not happy with the progress.

    A group of 20 Republican members signed a letter to the governor saying he could not let the unbalanced budget slide into law.

    Rep. Seth Grove, R-York, spearheaded the action.

    “Based on the Constitution and the statutory guidelines, the governor has to balance the budget,” Grove said. “It’s not a passive act like he’s portraying it to be. He has to go back and reduce line items to match the actual expenditures.”

    Grove said some lawmakers are looking into legal action against the governor.

    Wolf’s spokesman said it’s not the governor’s legal responsibility to balance the budget, and that the duty actually falls to the General Assembly.

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