Cash-poor Pennsylvania gets $1.8B loan to pay bills on time

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The cash-strapped Pennsylvania state government is getting another loan to pay its bills on time.

Pennsylvania state Treasurer Joe Torsella said Friday he’s authorizing a $1.8 billion credit line that must be paid back by April 2.

It comes as Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and state lawmakers are patching up a deficit, primarily by borrowing, tapping off-budget programs and expanding casino gambling.

Since the recession, the Treasury Department has reliably bailed out Pennsylvania’s deficit-ridden finances when tax collections are slow. Torsella, a Democrat, extended two smaller credit lines this year.

Hours earlier, Wolf signed legislation directing about $650 million to Penn State, Pitt, Temple, Lincoln and the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school. The aid had been promised, but held up by the House in a budget stalemate until this week.

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