State treasurer tells lawmakers - No More Borrowing

Pennsylvania Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Mike Turzai R-Allegheny leaves a committee meeting at the Pennsylvania Capitol

State treasurer tells lawmakers - No More Borrowing

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives will return to session Monday for the first time in seven weeks as a lengthening budget stalemate is drawing warnings by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf that he is out of options to make payments on time.

A group of House Republican members informally known as the "Taxpayer Caucus" propose to use what they say are surpluses in special funds.

The Senate's plan, narrowly passed in July, relies largely on tax increases, borrowing and another expansion of casino gambling.

Pennsylvania's House of Representatives is putting off preliminary votes on measures created to plug state government's $2.2 billion budget gap with money siphoned partly from public transportation and environmental improvement programs.

House Republican backers insist the money can be diverted without affecting the programs, but the Wolf administration has contradicted that.

Does this mean no online casinos for Pennsylvania?

A Tuesday vote was planned.

An anticipated vote on a no-tax plan to pay for Pennsylvania's budget plan was a no go in the state House Tuesday. Rep. Jeff Pyle, R-Armstrong, called it a "coin flip", while Rep. Eugene DiGirolamo, R-Bucks, said debate had been "back and forth" between supporters and opponents.

The Republican-controlled Legislature is averse to the kind of tax increase that would stabilize Pennsylvania's deficit-riddled finances.

If this latest plan fails, it's also not clear what happens next.

Hanging in the balance is $2.2 billion in program funding - about 7 percent of approved spending - and another downgrade to Pennsylvania's battered credit rating.

Wolf supports the Senate's plan. Another $1.3 billion would come from floating bonds. It also includes a Marcellus Shale production tax.

Whilst the Republican's taxpayer budget will be discussed, there are no guarantees that this will be the final, agreed upon budget to fill the $2 billion in shortcomings. That would force schools to lay off teachers again, much as they did to survive a almost $1 billion cut to aid in 2011, Dolores McCracken, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, told a liberal group rallying in the state Capitol on Monday.

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