Frank Dermody

Budget bills are ugly but Wolf has little choice but to sign

Pennsylvania's House of Representatives had passed an aggressive, bipartisan gambling expansion bill an hour earlier when Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's top budget adviser walked by the chamber's Democratic leader in the Capitol's ornate Rotunda.

"Thank you," he told Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny.

It was perhaps the most polite thing said about Pennsylvania's ugly budget process and a Frankenstein-like assortment now sitting on Wolf's desk: The gambling bill, a $140 million tax package and $1.5 billion borrowing measure to bail out the state's finances.

There were no celebratory press conferences for the borrowing and gambling, no flood of...

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