The Latest: $32B bipartisan spending plan goes to last votes

Markets Associated Press

The Latest on Pennsylvania state government's $32 billion bipartisan spending plan (all times local):

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10:30 p.m.

A $32 billion bipartisan budget package is poised for floor votes in the Pennsylvania Legislature on the final day of the state government's fiscal year.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the package Thursday night, and the Senate and House are expected to pass it Friday.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf supports it, but there's no plan to fully fund it. Lawmakers are expected to return to the Capitol next week to figure out how to raise $2 billion-plus to cover a two-year projected shortfall.

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The package authorizes an approximately $870 million increase in spending above last year's approved budget of $31.5 billion, or almost 3 percent. That includes about $400 million being added to the just-ending fiscal year's books.

It carries more money for schools, pension obligations and services for the intellectually disabled, but demands belt-tightening across government agencies and in Medicaid. It also sees savings from a shrinking prisons population.

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9 p.m.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is lauding a $32 billion bipartisan spending plan that's being unveiled on the second-to-last day of state government's fiscal year, as lawmakers still wrangle over how to pay for it.

Wolf said in a statement Thursday night that the plan invests more in schools, protects seniors, creates jobs and fights the heroin epidemic.

He says it maintains his commitment to cut bureaucracy, improve services and save money. The package authorizes an approximately $870 million increase in spending over last year's approved budget of $31.5 billion, or almost 3 percent. That includes about $400 million being added to the just-ending fiscal year's books.

Preliminary votes on the package were possible late Thursday night, with floor votes planned in both chambers Friday.

Lawmakers are expected to return to the Capitol next week to figure out how to raise $2 billion-plus to cover a two-year projected shortfall.

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5 p.m.

Pennsylvania lawmakers are getting a first look at a $32 billion budget package as they plow through the second-to-last day of state government's fiscal year without a plan to pay for it.

Preliminary votes on the package were possible late Thursday night, while the House and Senate GOP majorities struggle with the state's biggest cash shortfall since the recession.

The spending figure falls between what Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf sought and what House Republicans passed.

It authorizes an approximately $600 million increase in spending, including a $100 million boost Wolf sought for public schools, or almost 2 percent. It demands savings in Pennsylvania's $30 billion Medicaid program and maintains $195 million, or 13 percent more, sought by Wolf to improve services for adults who have an intellectual disability or autism.