Pa. legislative leaders bringing budget plan to Corbett

    Top Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania intend to meet Tuesday evening with Gov. Tom Corbett to present a joint budget plan.

    Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi says the House and the Senate agree on about 90 percent of the negotiated proposal.

    “I don’t know what the governor’s reaction is going to be,” said Pileggi, R-Delaware. “I would hope that it’s a positive reaction. I would also expect that governor may have some suggestions that he would like to see incorporated in a final spending plan.”

    The Senate passed a budget bill with $500 million more than Corbett proposed back in February, and House and Senate leaders have said they don’t plan on spending any more than that.

    But, as recently as last week, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai said there’s concern in his caucus that the Senate added too little money back into a program that benefits school districts.

    “It’s an important line item,” he said. “Many members are raising that as a place where they’d like to see some additional monies, but that means we have to find some additional places to reduce.

    “In the end, we’re not going to be increasing taxes,” said Turzai, R-Allegheny.

    The Senate’s plan also adds money for county-run social services and financially distressed school districts. Turzai said that is an important issue, but it must be balanced with other items competing for funding.

    He did say the House GOP supports restoring funds for state system and state-related universities if schools can promise to keep tuition hikes low.

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