Pennsylvania must start freezing spending, top senator says

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A top Pennsylvania lawmaker says it’s time for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to start freezing programs because the deficit-strapped state government soon won’t be able to pay every bill on time.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said Monday that it’s irresponsible for state government to keep borrowing money from its treasury during months of low cash flow while it lacks a balanced budget.

Meanwhile, various House Republicans are meeting in the Capitol to try to develop a response to the Senate’s $2.2 billion budget-balancing package. Wolf supports the Senate’s plan, which revolves around borrowing $1.3 billion and raising taxes on consumers’ utility bills.

House Republicans say they want to avoid borrowing cash or raising taxes to balance the budget. Wolf is silent about his contingency plans.

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