Pennsylvania Senate rejects no-tax budget plan

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Senate has overwhelmingly rejected a no-new-taxes plan for funding the state budget.

The Senate on Wednesday voted 43-7 to non-concur on the revenue plan crafted by House Republicans and to create a conference committee to write a new plan.

The GOP plan approved by the House last week would have seized money from various reserve accounts to close a projected $2.2 billion budget gap. Supporters said about $2.4 billion was stashed away in reserve accounts for transportation, historical preservation, hazardous site cleanup, and many others.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf supports a revenue plan passed by the Republican-controlled Senate in July. That plan included an extraction tax on Marcellus Shale drillers, new taxes on electricity and phone bills, and expanded casino gambling.

The Senate plan would also borrow $1.2 billion against anticipated payments to the Tobacco Settlement Fund to pay off last year’s deficit.

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