GOP readies stopgap Pa. budget, but details scarce

     Governor Tom Wolf (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    Governor Tom Wolf (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    Republican Pennsylvania lawmakers could put Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in a tricky spot with their next budgetary maneuver: they say they’ll be back in session this month to approve a temporary spending plan.

    The stopgap measure would get funding flowing again to schools, social services, and other government programs that have had to curb services and borrow money to function since the budget stalemate began in July.

    Details are scarce. Republicans say the measure would provide four months of retroactive funding, from July through October, but it’s not clear how funding levels would be set.

    The plan to go ahead with short-term funding puts Gov. Wolf in a tricky situation. He has not said whether he would sign a stopgap budget, since he continues to try to negotiate a full year’s budget deal. But Republicans say Wolf would look insensitive if he stymied funds for schools and social services that are feeling the pain of the budget impasse.

    Democratic lawmakers haven’t voiced a position on a short-term funding measure. House Democratic spokesman Bill Patton said “it’s impossible” to do so until they see what’s in the proposal.

    Wolf and the Republicans who control the state Legislature remain far apart on tax and spending issues, as well as policies concerning the state liquor stores and public pensions.

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