Pennsylvania

Senate approves budget package, awaits plan to pay for it

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A $32 billion bipartisan spending package has the Pennsylvania Senate's approval on the state fiscal year's final day, although lawmakers don't know how it'll be funded.

The Senate voted 43-7, and a House vote was expected later Friday. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf supports it, and lawmakers say they'll try next week to find $2 billion-plus to cover a two-year projected shortfall.

Senate officials said it holds spending virtually flat. Using the last approved budget of $31.5 billion as a baseline, it authorizes an extra $870 million over two fiscal years above that, including $400 million going on the just-ending fiscal year's books.

It carries more money for schools, pension obligations and services for the intellectually disabled. It demands belt-tightening across government agencies and in Medicaid, and counts on savings from a shrinking prisons population.


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