Democrats float alternative in Pa. budget debate

    Senate Democrats are touting a spending plan that they designed to compete with proposals being advanced by Gov. Tom Corbett and the majority Republicans who control the Pennsylvania Legislature.

    The $28.5 billion Democratic plan unveiled Monday would increase spending by about $730 million, or less than 3 percent above this year’s approved level.

     

    It would spend about $220 million more on public schools, or more than twice what Republicans are considering, while leaving more money in reserve.

    However, the plan hinges on a federally funded expansion of Medicaid that Democrats say will save the state money and enhancements to increase sales in the state-controlled wine and liquor stores.

    It also would eliminate $360 million in broad-based business tax cuts that Republicans favor. The fiscal year begins July 1.

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