Pennsylvania's Senate is sending Gov. Tom Wolf the main bill in a $34 billion compromise budget plan that uses strong tax collections to boost aid to public schools and universities, hold the line on taxes and put cash into reserve.
Thursday's 42-8 vote comes amid a scramble in the Republican-controlled Legislature to approve hundreds of just-unveiled pages of budget-related legislation. The 2019-20 fiscal year starts Monday.
It authorizes almost $2 billion more in spending through the state's main operating account, or 6% more, counting cost overruns in the current fiscal year.
It covers rising costs for prisons, debt, pension obligations and health care, while budget makers are using various cash maneuvers to veil the true cost of government operations by moving hundreds of millions of dollars in costs to outside accounts.