2009-07-23 / Local & State

Pa. Senate Issues Answer To House Budget Bill

By Marc Levy ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A new counterproposal in the state government's budget stalemate is advancing as the impasse stretches toward a fourth week.

The Republican-controlled Senate gave preliminary approval Monday to a plan responding to a spending bill passed last week by the Democrat controlled House.

But the $27.1 billion Senate GOP bill is not expected to close the gap between how much money Democrats and Republicans say is needed.

The bill includes no tax increases and fills a multibilliondollar deficit with spending cuts and reserve money. A final vote is expected later Monday.

The House bill would spend $2 billion more, even though it provides no way to pay for more than $1 billion in higher education subsidies.

Without an approved budget, the state can't pay most of its bills, including payroll.

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