A $29.1 billion Republican-penned budget plan that makes higher payments to public schools, human services and public pensions is headed for certain changes in the Pennsylvania state Senate.
The bill, made public barely two days ago, passed Wednesday, 110-93 over the objections of Democrats. Five days are left in the fiscal year.
Overall, it would increase spending by about $727 million, or almost 2.6 percent, over the current year's approved budget. Another $200 million would go on the books of off-budget programs or the current year's books. Democrats say it is inadequate for public schools.
Perhaps most glaring is its reliance on $380 million from the unlikely sell-off of the state's wine and liquor operations as part of an effort to paper over a massive revenue shortfall.