Pa. House passes $29.1 billion budget

    The Pennsylvania House has passed a $29.1 billion spending plan just days before the budget deadline.

    Republicans heralded the proposal as a reflection of their priorities: hold the line on spending; don’t raise taxes; and pass a budget before July.

    The measure relies on hundreds of millions of dollars in one-time revenue sources — pulling money from outside funds or using money allocated but not spent last year.

    It also assumes an injection of $380 million from liquor privatization, a plan that can’t advance in the Senate.

    Democrats including Rep. Bryan Barbin of Cambria County railed against the bill, which is still a couple big steps away from getting to the governor’s desk.

    “This will be a procedural vote. All the Republicans will vote for the bill,” he said. “All the Democrats will vote against it.”

    One Republican ended up voting against the proposal, which otherwise passed along party lines.

    It scraps most of the education funding increases proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett in February, adding just $70 million, or 1.3 percent over the past year’s schools spending.

    The bill now heads to the Senate.

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