Pa. Senate passes $27.15B spending plan

    The state Senate has passed a spending plan, sending it to the House for a vote. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman says the cuts contained in the bill are true to Governor Corbett’s campaign promises.

    Said Corman, “He went to all 67 counties over the last couple years campaigning and said ‘I am not going to raise taxes. I know there’s a big deficit, I know there’s a structural deficit, I know we’re going to have to cut state spending, but I’m not going to raise taxes, I’m going to cut spending to balance the state budget.'” Democrats say the budget cuts could be eased if Republicans would dip into the over $600 million in tax revenue surplus available this fiscal year.

    In the pressure cooker that is the Capitol during the last days before a budget deadline, the House and Senate Democrats hit a release valve.  They voted to reconsider bills to fund state-related schools, even with 19 percent cuts.Monday evening the Democrats noisily withheld their support in order to get more money for the schools and more time to look at the Republicans’ budget proposal. Now, those bills could pass before July 1.

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