GOP’s patchwork $29.1B budget speeds toward votes

    Pennsylvania state lawmakers are preparing for more votes as they try to advance an approximately $29.1 billion spending plan for the new fiscal year that’s nearly here.

    Floor votes were expected on the main budget bill Monday, the last day of the fiscal year, while a large companion bill had not been finished as of Sunday night.

    The Republican-crafted budget plan cuts business taxes and calls for about $950 million more in spending, primarily for public schools, public employee pensions, health care for the poor and social safety-net programs.

    Democrats oppose it, saying it doesn’t do enough for schools. They also say it’s flimsily built on shaky assumptions and more than $2 billion in one-time items, including postponing bills, raiding off-budget programs and draining reserves.

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