Pa. Senate passes budget bill

pa budget

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf isn’t saying whether he’ll sign a budget bill sent to him by the Senate in a last-ditch bid to break a 6-month stalemate before Christmas and get money flowing to schools and social service agencies.

The Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday passed the main appropriations bill in a $30.3 billion package.

It passed on a near party-line vote, 33-17. The House passed it two weeks ago, after the House GOP majority turned against a broader budget agreement backed by Wolf and Senate leaders.

That deal called for $30.8 billion in spending, a 6 percent increase, and $1 billion-plus tax increase Wolf wanted to deliver a record boost in public school aid and to close a deficit.

Senate Republicans pulled support for the tax increase since pension legislation stalled in the House.

Numerous questions remain, including the fate of legislation to authorize hundreds of millions of dollars for universities and colleges.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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