Top GOP lawmakers take budget differences down to wire

MARC LEVY
Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania lawmakers are starting the second-to-last day of the state government’s fiscal year, as top Republicans say little about how they’ll deal with the state’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)

Preliminary votes were possible Thursday on a yet-to-be-revealed compromise spending plan of approximately $32 billion in the 2017-18 fiscal year. Rank-and-file lawmakers have received little information about closed-door negotiations, as House and Senate Republican majority leaders try to sort out disagreements.

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Negotiations over how to find the $2-plus billion in cash they’ll need to prop up spending appear likely to drag into July.

The spending plan could mean belt-tightening or cuts across programs and agencies, while anti-tax Republicans look to more casino-style gambling and borrowing for money.