Wolf blasts GOP bill in latest budget showdown

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is blasting the latest budget plan being advanced by Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania’s eight-months-long partisan battle.

Wolf says the plan being unveiled later Tuesday is out of balance and leaves next year’s massive projected deficit unresolved. His office also says it doesn’t adequately fund schools.

House and Senate Republicans say it doesn’t require a tax increase to balance, and delivers half the public school aid increase, $200 million, that Wolf had sought.

Republicans say they’ll send the main appropriations bill in the $30 billion package to Wolf’s desk Wednesday. It would increase spending by about 3 percent overall. Wolf isn’t saying whether he’ll sign it.

Republicans say they hope it’ll end a budget fight that’s left billions of dollars in limbo. Schools are borrowing to stay open and Penn State is threatening to shut down agricultural extension offices.

A bipartisan deal collapsed in December, after House GOP leaders pulled support. That $30.8 billion spending plan involved a $1 billion-plus tax increase.

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