Optimism in Pa. budget talks, despite differences

    With Pennsylvania’s budget stalemate in its fifth month, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s office and leaders of the Legislature’s Republican majorities say the momentum of closed-door talks has picked up and there’s cause for optimism.

    Wolf’s spokesman, Jeff Sheridan, said Saturday that there are serious negotiations and a light at the end of the tunnel. On Friday, House Majority Leader Dave Reed wrote in a note to rank-and-file Republicans that there’s progress toward a framework that could lead to a final budget agreement, possibly by Thanksgiving.

    However, numerous differences remain between Wolf and Republicans, and Republicans may have to confront their own internal differences.

    For one, negotiators report differences over how much aid public schools should get and Sheridan says Wolf won’t sign to a budget agreement without a historic increase.

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