No-tax-hike budget advances in Pa

May 4, 2009 2:25:48 PM PDT
Pennsylvania's state budget debate is accelerating with the Senate Appropriations Committee reporting out a Republican bill to hold the line on spending and taxes in the year that starts in July. The committee sent the $27.3 billion plan to the Senate floor by a party-line vote Monday.

GOP leaders hope for final passage by Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Gov. Ed Rendell and leaders of the Democratic House majority took turns criticizing the Republican plan at a news conference.

The Democrats say they agree Rendell's $29 billion budget needs to be pared back in the face of a shortfall for this year that's now estimated at $3 billion.

But they say the GOP plan goes too far and would limit spending in vital areas such as public education and job training.

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