Pennsylvania’s attorney general is asking state lawmakers for a budget boost.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane is asking for $97 million — $1.5 million more than Gov. Tom Wolf proposed in his spending plan.
The Senate Appropriations Chairman Pat Browne, R-Lehigh, asked whether he should take it that Kane approves of higher sales and income taxes that figure so prominently in Wolf’s budget proposal.
“Are you willing to say you support his revenue package?” said Browne.
Kane didn’t bite.
“Senator, I am the attorney general of the commonwealth and very happy to do it,” she said. “I will leave all that up to you … I don’t envy you at all.”
Kane said her agency needs the funding hike to cover higher pension costs and 20 new positions. Eighteen of the additional posts will go to investigators to combat improper Medicaid payments anticipated with the state’s Medicaid expansion to hundreds of thousands of new recipients.
“When that happens, now the opportunities for fraud go up,” Kane said. She added that the federal government will pick up most of the tab for the new agents.