HARRISBURG, Pa. - Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's election-year budget plan will renew battles with Republican lawmakers over imposing a Marcellus Shale natural gas tax and increasing the minimum wage.
Wolf's budget delivered Tuesday to the Republican-controlled Legislature would boost spending by about $1 billion, or 3 percent, to $33 billion for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
"I'm going to keep doing whatever I can to reduce costs and streamline government, but we can do so much more to improve our fiscal future if we work together," Wolf said.
The higher spending would go toward public schools, skills training, pension obligations, prison costs and social services for children, the elderly and disabled.
It would rely on money from a new Marcellus Shale tax and savings in human services programs from increasing the minimum wage to $12 an hour, up from the federal minimum of $7.25. It also expects a big expansion of lottery games.
Wolf's administration otherwise expects no deficit next year, despite some independent projections of a gap.
The Wolf administration is asking for public input to help a new task force that the governor and auditor general are heading up to explore ways to make Pennsylvania schools safer and more secure.Read More »
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