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No budget deal in sight as Pennsylvania Senate reconvenes

MARC LEVY
Associated Press

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Senate is returning to its first voting session of 2016, as Gov. Tom Wolf and lawmakers give no signs of resolving a 7-month-old budget fight that’s left billions in school aid in limbo.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks with members of the media Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Wolf said he is rejecting parts of a $30.3 billion state budget plan that's already a record six months overdue, but he's freeing up over $23 billion in emergency funding. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Tuesday’s session is three weeks before Wolf is scheduled to deliver his second budget proposal to the Legislature, that one for the fiscal year that begins next July 1.

For the current fiscal year, Wolf authorized about $23 billion from a Republican-crafted budget proposal he opposed. However, he vetoed billions of dollars in school funding to keep pressure on the Republican-controlled Legislature to pass a bipartisan budget deal.

That deal called for a tax increase of more than $1 billion to deliver a record boost in public school aid and to fix a long-term deficit.