A ‘get out of town’ budget appears inevitable, lawmakers say

A bill to end live pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania is once again in the state legislature.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Lawmakers faced with Pennsylvania state government’s biggest shortfall since the recession are bracing for what they call a “get-out-of-town budget.”

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and leaders of the Legislature’s Republican majorities have been absorbed until recently with major pension and gambling legislation. That virtually ensures that a budget package will be hashed out in rushed, closed-door negotiations.

For now, top Republican lawmakers are sticking to talking publicly about what they can do to avoid a budget-balancing tax increase, while rank-and-file lawmakers worry about what kind of result will emerge from a slapdash budget.

Some lawmakers say a get-out-of-town budget will leave problems to fester.

That includes school districts squeezed by rising pension costs and a Department of Environmental Protection wracked by years of budget cuts.

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