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Budget deadline looms as Pennsylvania lawmakers eye deficit

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania lawmakers are returning to the Capitol with five days to pass an on-time budget and no firm agreement on how to address state government’s biggest cash shortfall since the recession.

FILE - This Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, file photo shows the Pennsylvania Capitol building in Harrisburg. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Leaders of the House and Senate GOP majorities were expected to brief rank-and-file Republicans on Monday after spending the weekend in closed-door negotiations.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed a $32.3 billion budget plan that includes $1 billion in new spending. Republicans are aiming to cut some spending from that plan, and they’ve rejected Wolf’s accompanying $1 billion tax package to help plug the deficit.

Instead, House Republicans want to raise cash through a massive expansion of casino-style gambling and selling wholesale and retail liquor licenses. Senate Republicans are eyeing a plan to borrow money.