HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – State lawmakers are sending the main budget bill to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, hours before Pennsylvania’s new fiscal year begins.
The House voted 144 to 54 on Thursday for a $31.5 billion spending plan that will increase funding to public schools and to combat Pennsylvania’s opioid drug crisis.
Democratic Rep. Kevin Schreiber said, “I hope what Ppennsylvanians see is over the last couple of months we have seen a lot of compromise. We have seen medical marijuana we have seen liquor modernization.”
The bill is only part of the package of legislation that makes up the budget, and there’s no agreement yet about where lawmakers are going to find more than $1 billion in new revenue to fund it.
Republican Rep. Sue Helm said, “We know where the money is coming from we just have to put it down and vote on it . We will get that done. I don’t know if it will be tomorrow.”
Among the sources under consideration are higher tobacco taxes, tax delinquents, more legalized gambling and brisker wine and liquor sales.
Governor Tom Wolf said in a statement, “I will sign the General Appropriations bill as soon as there is a sustainable revenue package to pay for it, and I look forward to continuing to work with the legislature to achieve this.”