- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Top Republican lawmakers say Gov. Tom Wolf’s new spending proposal goes too far with a 16 percent increase.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati of Jefferson County said Tuesday that Wolf’s tax-and-spend proposals stand to damage the middle class and the economy. Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Dave Reed of Indiana County says lawmakers have never seen a governor propose nearly $5 billion in new spending.

Reed says that rate of increase is unacceptable, although he and Scarnati say Wolf touched on areas that concern Republicans, such as excessive school property taxes and corporate taxes.

The Legislature is controlled by huge Republican majorities. Wolf is asking lawmakers to approve more than $4 billion in higher taxes to help boost school aid and shift education funding away from property taxes.

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