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Smart Talk 02/08/2017: 2017-2018 Pennsylvania budget analysis

Smart Talk 02/08/2017: 2017-2018 Pennsylvania budget analysis

Governor Wolf presented his budget for the state's 2017-2018 fiscal year on Tuesday. It includes $32.3 billion in expenditures, a 1.3% increase over last year with no broad-based (like sales or personal income) tax increases. However, the governor is asking for a tax on natural gas drilling and expansion of items that are subject to taxes.
The budget also recommends merging the Department of Corrections with the Board of Probation & Parole and consolidating the departments of Health, Human Services, Aging and Drug & Alcohol Programs into one Department of Health & Human Services.
Wolf wants residents of municipalities that are patrolled by Pennsylvania State Police to pay $25 per person, an increase of the minimum wage from $7.25 to $12 per hour and an increase of $200 million in education spending.
The governor plans to cut $2 billion in spending, but promised "my budget protects the investments we've made in education, in senior services, in fighting the scourge of opioids, and in gr