First priority for the next Pa. governor? A huge budget gap

 Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, left, and Democrat Tom Wolf shake hands at the end of a gubernatorial debate hosted by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry Sept. 22 in Hershey. The tow will meet again Wednesday for the second of three planned debates.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, left, and Democrat Tom Wolf shake hands at the end of a gubernatorial debate hosted by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry Sept. 22 in Hershey. The tow will meet again Wednesday for the second of three planned debates.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Job No. 1 for whoever wins this fall’s election for Pennsylvania governor likely will be trying to solve the state government’s messy fiscal situation.

Numerous budget analysts expect state government will be facing a $2 billion deficit next year, if not more.

For now, neither Republican Gov. Tom Corbett nor Democratic challenger Tom Wolf is embracing a broad-based tax increase.

Corbett says he’s been saddled with fixing mistakes he inherited and negotiating a sluggish national economy. Wolf puts the blame squarely on Corbett and says Corbett’s policies have led to this situation.

Corbett says more spending cuts will be difficult. Wolf says he’ll seek to fill the gap partly by slapping higher taxes on the natural gas industry.

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