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Pennsylvania braces for budget showdown despite mountains of cash

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The state budget is due in late June, and Pennsylvania holds a record amount. Now comes the tough decision of how much to spend and where to spend it.

Governor Tom Wolf is pushing for the legislation to send $2,000 to every Pennsylvanian who earns less than $80,000 a year.

“People are paying more for gasoline and more for some of the most basic products. Anything we can do to make life easier for working Pennsylvanians, we should do it all, and we have the money to do it,” said House Appropriations Chairman Matt Bradford (D).

Pennsylvania public schools received more funding each year under Wolf, and he plans to do a lot more for his final budget.

“This is an opportunity to not only make up for past cuts, but to make sure we’re making the future investments we need for Pennsylvania students,” Bradford added.

Spending a lot of money and creating an appropriate budget may seem easy with a seemingly endless amount of funding, but House Appropriations Chairman Stan Saylor said, “Wrong. When you have a lot of money everybody wants to spend money you have all this money how about spending a couple hundred million here and a couple hundred million there to quickly add that all the money is left.

Some say House Appropriations Chairman Stan Saylor (R) will urge caution despite state coffers, including $2.2 billion in federal stimulus, the $3 billion Rainy Day Fund dollars and state collections exceeding forecasts by $5 billion.

Saylor and Senate Appropriations Chairman Pat Browne (right) were both defeated in the Republican primary after being accused of overspending and not being conservative enough. Saylor and Browne will complete this budget but have concerns about future budgets.

“If you’re a ‘no, no, no,’ you’re worthless here on Capitol Hill because that’s not how it works in politics,” Saylor said.

However, Saylor himself promises to say “no, no, no” to overspending in a year with an influx of money.

The state budget is due on June 30, exactly four weeks from today.