Governor signs $1.3B budget bailout package

-  Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a $1.3 billion revenue package into law, just hours after the legislation became public and passed both the Pennsylvania House and Senate.

Wolf signed the bills Wednesday evening, his office said.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 28-22, minutes after the House voted 116-75 on a just-unveiled tax bill negotiated between Wolf and top lawmakers, and adjourned until September.

Budget negotiators say the election-year tax increase is necessary to balance the state's deficit-riddled budget and a 5 percent increase in spending.

The package is split between tax increases and one-time infusions of money, including a $200 million loan from a state medical malpractice insurance fund.

 It includes a $1 per-pack tax increase on cigarettes, to $2.60 per pack, and an extension of the state's 6 percent sales tax to digital downloads of music, videos, books and apps. It also counts on $100 million from pending legislation to make Pennsylvania the fourth state to legalize online gambling.
 

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