Democrats take leap of faith into budget talks with GOP

    It’s the big head-scratcher in the Pennsylvania Capitol.

    House Democrats this month helped pass bills that achieved a couple long-sought Republican priorities. They include scaling back traditional public pension benefits and breaking state-control over wine sales. And they did it without assurance that the Legislature’s huge GOP majorities will return the favor to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

    The question now is what Wolf will get from tax-averse Republicans in a budget agreement. He’s looking to wipe out a damaging deficit and close huge funding inequities between wealthy and poor school districts.

    House Democratic Whip Mike Hanna says the big difference is Republicans are willing to negotiate with Democrats, even if there’s no guarantee of a deal.

    Plus, the pension and wine sales legislation contained concessions that endeared Democrats.

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