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GOP preps new bill in Pa.’s partisan budget fight

MARC LEVY
Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Republican lawmakers say they’ll advance budget legislation this week that they hope will end Pennsylvania’s eight-month-old partisan gridlock.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Lawmakers said they’ll unveil details Tuesday and expect to put a bill on Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk Wednesday.

Billions of dollars remain in limbo, as schools borrow to stay open and Penn State threatens to shut down agricultural extension offices.

A bipartisan deal collapsed in December, after House GOP leaders pulled support. That deal involved a $1 billion-plus tax increase that Wolf had sought to narrow a deficit and begin wiping out funding cuts to public schools in 2011.

Republicans say their bill doesn’t require a tax increase to balance, and will deliver half the public school increase, $200 million, that Wolf had sought. Wolf’s office calls it “irresponsible and unbalanced.”