House GOP protects $28.3 billion budget plan

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republicans who control Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives lined up behind the GOP’s $28.3 billion state budget plan, blocking Democratic efforts to add spending for education and health care.

House Speaker Sam Smith ruled a series of Democratic amendments out of order Monday on grounds they did not include cuts to offset the proposed new spending. Democrats used parliamentary tactics to make their arguments, but efforts to salvage the amendments were rejected roughly along party lines.

The GOP would boost public school funding by $100 million and cut business taxes by more than $300 million in the year starting July 1. Democrats advocate more than tripling the increase in school funding and guaranteeing Pennsylvania’s participation in the federally funded Medicaid expansion.

A final House vote could come as early as Tuesday.

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