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Politics & Government

Turning Up The Budget Heat In Harrisburg

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AP Photo/Matt Rourke
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Gov. Tom Wolf says he isn't resigned to a late state budget, even though a deadline looms at the end of the month.

A state budget deadline looms at the end of the month, but Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican lawmakers remain divided on a spending plan.

Entities that rely on the state for funding have cautioned about the headaches caused by lengthy budget standoffs. But Wolf says he’s not resigned to a late state budget.

“I understand the problems that causes for nonprofits, for social service agencies. I understand the problems it causes for people looking for some predictability in terms of their job,” the governor said Thursday.

Wolf and the Republican-controlled Legislature remain divided over their various proposals and priorities, including the governor’s education spending increases, the Senate’s public pension reductions and the House’s property tax cuts.

Earlier this week, the governor’s agenda took a hit when the House unanimously rejected a measure combining his proposed tax increases. Republican House leaders said it proved the tax hikes are politically impossible. But Democrats and the governor called it a stunt.

Wolf said it’s not too late to expect a timely state budget – adding that punctuality isn’t his only goal.

“Yeah, I want an on-time budget, but I want a really good budget,” said Wolf. “We need to get serious about this. We need to have serious conversations. I think we’re having those, and I think we can move forward. I’m hopeful.”