Pennsylvania budget cram week starts with eye on saving cash

Pennsylvania's Capitol Building in Harrisburg (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania)

Pennsylvania's budget cram week is beginning, as lawmakers are advancing a spending plan that benefits from a surplus to spread around modest spending increases.

Lawmakers are also touting the commitment to a substantial deposit in Pennsylvania's relatively bare budgetary reserve in a compromise spending plan released Monday.

Votes in the Republican-controlled Legislature were expected later this week, as the fiscal year winds down. The $34 billion plan is similar to the $34.1 billion plan Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf floated in February.

All told, the package authorizes almost $2 billion more in spending through the state's main operations account, or 6% more, counting cost overruns in the current fiscal year.

However, budget-makers are using various cash maneuvers to veil the true cost of government operations.