Legislature resumes session, budget decisions loom

Pennsylvania State Capitol building (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

Pennsylvania State Capitol building (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

Pennsylvania lawmakers still fatigued from a record budget standoff with Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf may not get much of a break before the fiscal year begins July 1.

Lawmakers return to Harrisburg on Monday, with six weeks before the deadline for Wolf and Republican majorities in the House and Senate to iron out sharp differences over taxes and spending.

There’s talk of an improved relationship and optimism about the process ahead. But the sides seem far apart.

Wolf is proposing a $2.7 billion tax increase to wipe out a deficit and fund increases for public schools, pension obligations, human services and prisons.

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Republicans aren’t committing to a tax increase and are looking to blunt rising costs. They also want to overhaul public pension benefits, but there are differences about the details among Republicans in the House and Senate.

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