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Wolf Sees Downgrade Without Budget Deal Soon

22 September 2017, 12:51 | Lucy Hill



Senate Republicans shot back saying they agree with S&P's concerns about fiscal stability.

The downgrade means Pennsylvania will pay more to borrow money, potentially tens of millions of dollars a year.

The budget bill also seeks a $1 billion lump-sum payment by selling rights to a portion of the state's tobacco settlement fund, which now receives about $350 million per year. "In light of the downgrade, we believe it would be beneficial for quick agreement and concurrence in special fund transfers to help the treasurer expedite cash flow while we work on the remainder of the budget-related bills".

The Senate will take up a house proposal that was passed lat week, which would take money from PennDOT and the E.P.A's coffers that are not being used.

In response to the downgrade today, Wolf called for swift action to complete the state budget.

"This credit down grade need not, and should not have happened". Wolf wants higher taxes on home heating gas, cellphone bills, etc.

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"No doubt some Republican legislators and some advocates will say that the real cause of the budget deficit is overspending".

"In reaching a final resolution, the budget must be balanced for this year and next", leaders said in a statement. And it is true that there is always two sides to a budget deficit.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf supports a revenue plan passed by the Republican-controlled Senate in July.

Pennsylvania has been without an operational budget since June, when the Republicans adopted a bipartisan spending plan of almost $32.0 billion. And the reason for their reluctance to cut spending is quite obvious - the public will not stand for it because investing in our communities is what's best for Pennsylvania.

They said the Treasury should let the state keep spending despite the funding gap, because "revenue is still coming in". It went nowhere in the General Assembly because Republicans can never raise taxes, even to pay off the debt they created. Perhaps the clanging of the sword will awaken the many responsible Republican legislators in both the House and Senate and lead them to demand serious action to resolve the budget crisis quickly and reasonably. Neither has a say in approving the state budget.

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