The Latest: Pennsylvania House OKs new deficit package
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on Pennsylvania’s budget standoff (all times local):
Pennsylvania state representatives are backing a new proposal to borrow $1.5 billion and raise a smattering of taxes in an effort to help pay for spending they approved nearly four months ago.
The proposal passed the House late Tuesday night, 102-88, garnering the minimum amount of votes necessary to pass.
It’s built around borrowing $1.5 billion against Pennsylvania’s share of the 1998 multistate tobacco settlement and extending the state sales tax to purchases in online marketplaces to raise about $50 million.
This latest package was met with circumspection by Senate GOP leaders and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. Both would only say they’d look at the bill, while Wolf’s office continued to press for a severance tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling, something House GOP leaders have fought.
Efforts to find revenue to fully fund the $32 billion budget bill that passed June 30 have so far proved fruitless.
Pennsylvania state representatives are taking up the latest proposal to generate enough revenue to fund budget spending they approved nearly four months ago.
The proposal brought to the House floor Tuesday night is built around borrowing up to $1.5 billion against the state’s share of the 1998 multistate tobacco settlement, and imposing sales taxes on some online transactions.
Efforts to find revenue to fully fund the $32 billion budget that passed in late June have so far proved fruitless.
It wasn’t clear if whatever might pass the Republican-majority Legislature will get the approval of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.
A Wolf spokesman says the governor will review the plan’s details but maintains the budget gap should be closed with a severance tax on natural gas drilling.