Pennsylvania state government facing more projected deficits

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania state government is getting sobering fiscal news.

The Legislature’s independent budget analyst projected Tuesday that more big deficits are looming, as is a shortfall this year. The Republican-controlled Legislature has fought Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s efforts over the last two years to fill a stubborn deficit with a multibillion-dollar tax increase. Another fight is likely looming next year.

The Independent Fiscal Office is projecting a $1.7 billion deficit in the 2017-18 fiscal year that starts next July 1.

It’s also projecting a nearly $600 million shortfall in the state’s current $31 billion budget. That’s partly due to an agreement to underfund human services and health care programs by more than $300 million.

Meanwhile, tax collections are running behind expectations, as well as behind last year’s collections at this point.

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