Pennsylvania Must Start Freezing Spending, Top Senator Says

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – A top Pennsylvania lawmaker says it’s time for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to start freezing programs because the deficit-strapped state government soon won’t be able to pay every bill on time.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said Monday that it’s irresponsible for state government to keep borrowing money from its treasury during months of low cash flow while it lacks a balanced budget.

Gov. Wolf tells the “KDKA Morning News” he agrees with Sen. Scarnati.

“The spending part of this bill was passed on time, overwhelmingly by Republicans and Democrats in both houses and I think [Scarnati] is right that the easy thing to do is for the House Republicans to come back and pass the revenue part, everybody else has signed on to it,” said Wolf.

Wolf adds that House Republicans need to “get their act together.”

“I think what President Scarnati was saying…and what I’ve been saying is we have it figured out. All we got to do is have the House Republicans come back and finish the job. If they have some other ideas, that’s what governing is and they ought to do that and they should’ve done it sometime around [the budget deadline],” said Wolf.

Meanwhile, various House Republicans are meeting in the Capitol to try to develop a response to the Senate’s $2.2 billion budget-balancing package. Wolf supports the Senate’s plan, which revolves around borrowing $1.3 billion and raising taxes on consumers’ utility bills.

House Republicans say they want to avoid borrowing cash or raising taxes to balance the budget. Wolf is silent about his contingency plans.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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