Short-term Pennsylvania budget sent to Wolf

HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio)  Pennsylvania will soon have a short-term budget. The state Senate Thursday sent Gov. Wolf a temporary spending plan that would postpone this year’s budget battle until fall, and a spokesman said the governor will sign it.

The budget bill passed by the state Senate cleared the House earlier this week. With an uncertain revenue picture due to the pandemic, it provides funding at current levels for the first five months of the new fiscal year in most cases, except for education, which would get a full 12 months at 2019-2020 levels. 

During a Senate debate, Andy Dinniman of Chester County — ranking Democrat on the Education Committee — raised concerns that education funding is inadequate.

“And my concern that the only way many of these school districts will take care of this is by raising property tax rates,” Dinniman said. 

Meanwhile, Vincent Hughes of Philadelphia and Montgomery counties, ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, said the short-term budget needs to be viewed in the context of the pandemic.

“It is unprecedented, and therefore, requires an unprecedented response,” he said. 

Unlike the House, the temporary budget passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support, 44 to 6.