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December 28, 2015

Report: Wolf to make announcement on budget Tuesday

Governor will approve parts of GOP plan, veto others, according to CBSPhilly

The seemingly never-ending budget impasse in Pennsylvania may be partly resolved Tuesday following a long battle between GOP lawmakers and the state's Democratic governor.

Gov. Tom Wolf is expected to make an announcement on the scaled-back proposal from Republicans that cuts out much of the increased spending for education and social services he had hoped for, sources tell CBSPhilly.

He'll sign some of the plan into law, but is expected to nix other parts of it. More from CBS:

Sources tonight tell Eyewitness News that Governor Tom Wolf expects to sign part of a budget plan that has been on his desk since Christmas Eve.
Wolf will still be looking over the budget throughout the night and is expected to veto parts of it.
The Democrat is considering what to do about an appropriations bill that authorizes hundreds of millions less than what Wolf wanted for schools and social services.

It's important to note that in Pennsylvania, the governor has line-item veto power, which means for any bill that appropriates money he can reject parts of it while approving others.

Those vetoes can be overridden with a two-thirds majority by both the House and the Senate.

Before the Christmas holiday, Republicans sent Wolf a $30.3 billion budget bill in an attempt to end the six-month standoff.

John Hanger, Wolf's secretary of planning and policy, lambasted the plan in a statement Monday, saying it would cut $95 million in funding to Pennsylvania's schools.

"The Republican’s failure to provide school construction funding to local school districts and the commonwealth’s inability to responsibly issue debt will lead to a direct cost to the school districts, which will wipe out any marginal funding increases for local school districts," Hanger said.

Earlier in December, it appeared Senate Republicans and Wolf has agreed on a compromise: the governor still got his $350 million increase for education and Republicans got cuts in taxes and spending from his original plan.

But House Republicans balked, sending everyone back to the drawing board, and a new plan was also shot down after Democrats rejected a pension reform bill.

Wolf's Tuesday announcement is expected to come at 10:30 a.m.