Top GOP lawmakers take budget differences down to wire

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania lawmakers are starting the second-to-last day of the state government’s fiscal year, as top Republicans say little about how they’ll deal with the state’s biggest cash shortfall since the recession.

Preliminary votes were possible Thursday on a yet-to-be-revealed compromise spending plan of approximately $32 billion in the 2017-18 fiscal year. Rank-and-file lawmakers have received little information about closed-door negotiations, as House and Senate Republican majority leaders try to sort out disagreements.

Negotiations over how to find the $2-plus billion in cash they’ll need to prop up spending appear likely to drag into July.

The spending plan could mean belt-tightening or cuts across programs and agencies, while anti-tax Republicans look to more casino-style gambling and borrowing for money.

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