Pa. House GOP Passes its Own State Budget Bill
In response to Gov. Tom Wolf‘s $32.3 billion budget proposal in February, state House Republicans have passed a budget bill that calls for $800 million less in spending.
The budget, which was revealed on Monday, includes notable reductions in spending for human-service and criminal justice agencies. Not a single House Democrat approved the legislation, and some Republicans voted against it as well. But with Republicans securing the majority of the House, the bill passed 114-84.
Despite the divisive vote, House Majority Leader Dave Reed said the budget “may not be perfect” but “accomplishes many core goals that we as Republicans and Democrats say that we stand together on,” Philly.com reports.
Like Wolf’s proposed budget, the GOP-backed legislation includes spending increases for basic and special education. Yesterday, Wolf called the budget a “good starting point” and “a good sign that we’re going to have a good, productive set of conversations,” according to CBS3.
But other Democrats have been quick to object.
Earlier this week, Rep. Joe Markosek of Allegheny County, who is high-ranking on the Appropriations Committee, said the GOP budget “cuts to the bone that many of us agree was already bare,” according to Philly.com.
Others, including the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, have criticized budget as well, claiming its drastic funding cuts could prompt local governments to increase property taxes.
The budget, which calls for $31.5 billion in spending in the fiscal year beginning July 1st, now heads to the state Senate.
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