Pa. Senate to advance House budget bill, with more for higher ed

    The Pennsylvania Senate is planning quick action on the House’s just-passed budget bill, a day before the state government’s fiscal-year deadline.

    A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said Wednesday that senators will add more money for higher education and send the spending package back to the House within hours.

    The additional aid for higher education is $39 million, a 2.5 percent increase.

    It isn’t clear whether the Republican-controlled Senate will make other changes to a budget plan that Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf criticizes as out of balance.

    Critics also say the House’s plan is based on unreliable projections of $1 billion in new receipts from higher tobacco taxes, brisker wine and liquor sales, more legalized gambling and tax delinquents.

    The state government’s 2016-17 fiscal year deadline starts Friday.

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