House Returns to Work on Budget

Pennsylvania Senate chambers are seen at the state Capitol in Harrisburg on Friday

Pennsylvania Senate chambers are seen at the state Capitol in Harrisburg on Friday

Despite the so-called taxpayers budget gaining traction in the house, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf reportedly opposes the Republican plan stating that it would have consequences on a wide range of communities.

The plan would avoid the borrowing, casino gambling expansion and utility service tax increases that underpins a $2.2 billion revenue package the Senate approved in July.

Pennsylvania's House of Representatives is putting off preliminary votes on measures created to plug state government's $2.2 billion budget gap with money siphoned partly from public transportation and environmental improvement programs. Wolf's administration also has said that another $400 million in operating reserves counted in the House GOP plan simply does not exist.

Does this mean no online casinos for Pennsylvania?

An anticipated vote on a no-tax plan to pay for Pennsylvania's budget plan was a no go in the state House Tuesday.

A vote could occur as early as Tuesday.

"Who knows?" said Rep. Scott Petri, R-Bucks.

Speaker Mike Turzai abruptly adjourned the chamber after a brief floor session, surprising some rank-and-file members of the House's deeply divided GOP majority.

Reed was not entirely clear on whether the plan being tweaked was the "Taxpayer Caucus" proposal as put forth last week.

Hanging in the balance is $2.2 billion in program funding - about 7 percent of approved spending - and another downgrade to Pennsylvania's battered credit rating.

Since the fiscal year beginning July 1, Wolf's administration has borrowed money from other state funds to keep the state's main bank account above zero.

A loan would help the state make its payments on time until the spring, when a large volume of tax collections is due.

Wolf supports the Senate's plan.

If lawmakers do not scrounge more money, the state's largest teacher's union warned that a almost $1 billion cut to public school aid is possible. It also includes a Marcellus Shale production tax. That would force schools to lay off teachers again, much as they did to survive a almost $1 billion cut to aid in 2011, Dolores McCracken, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, told a liberal group rallying in the state Capitol on Monday.

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