HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Corbett and leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature are on a money chase to ease what's otherwise shaping up as a challenging election-year budget.
Cutting spending on education or programs for the poor could severely damage the re-election prospects for Corbett and the GOP's narrow Senate majority. And Corbett's budget secretary, Charles Zogby, says he'll listen to anything besides a tax increase.
Republicans are considering expanding lottery gambling, cutting the pension benefits of future public employees and auctioning the accounts of millions of Pennsylvania households to firms that buy and sell electricity.
Corbett must present his proposal budget to the Legislature on Feb. 4.
Republicans are likely to get a battle from minority Democrats, who favor an expansion of Medicaid as one way to shore up the budget.
Marc Levy covers politics and government for The Associated Press in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/timelywriter.