PA-BGT: Wolf, GOP Give Reassurances on Potential Deal
GOP leaders were considering pulling the plug on the 5-month-late budget deal, after Gov. Tom Wolf “over-promised” on education spending, Angela Couloumbis and Chris Palmer of the Inquirer report.
Wolf and GOP negotiators assembled reporters in the Governor’s office Tuesday afternoon to cool talk of a collapse in negotiations.
“This is a really important break,” Wolf said. “We are working very hard to get this done.”
On Monday, the first-year Democratic governor announced he had reached a deal with GOP leaders to inject $750 million into the state’s school system over the next two years, though Republicans had only offered $350 million for basic education and $50 million for special education for the 2015-16 fiscal year.
Other aspects of the tentative agreement remain the same: a 1.25% increase in the sales tax statewide, $500 million in slot-machine gambling revenue to be sent to the state treasury and no severance tax. Pension reform and liquor privatization are also still expected to be included in some form in the final agreement.