Pa. House panel approves GOP $28.3B budget plan

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee is sending a Republican-crafted state budget plan to the floor for debate.

Monday's 21-14 party-line vote followed a spirited discussion about state spending and policies.

Committee Chairman William Adolph said the $28.3 billion proposal would increase spending for public education and state police while avoiding any increase in taxes.

The Delaware County Republican stressed that it's only a starting point. Floor debate in the House is expected to start next week. The new fiscal year begins July 1.

Democrats said public schools need more money to offset a nearly $1 billion cut two years ago. They also bemoan the omission of a Medicaid expansion financed by mostly federal money and the inclusion of $360 million in broad-based business tax cuts Republican Gov. Tom Corbett proposed.

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