HARRISBURG -- Governor Tom Wolf is laying out his case for next year's budget.
There have been some fierce budget battles in Harrisburg in recent years and the next round of negotiations between the Democratic governor and the Republican-controlled legislature got underway Tuesday.
Governor Wolf says he's come up with a plan to close a big deficit. Wolf announced his plan in Harrisburg before a joint session of the Republican-controlled house and senate.
No new taxes are recommended, and the governor proposed closing the state's deficit by making Pennsylvania's government more efficient.
Governor Wolf took a different approach to his budget address. This time the Democrat addressed a legislature with the largest Republican majority in modern history.
"The people who put us here want to see progress. They deserve to see progress. And when we've worked together, we've been able to deliver that progress," said Gov. Wolf.
Over and over, he asked to work together with lawmakers under the capitol dome and his biggest priority is getting the legislature to help him streamline state government, including combining numerous state agencies.
"By identifying specific programs that could be working more efficiently and others that are no longer working at all, this budget proposes reforms that, altogether, will save taxpayers more than $2 billion. That's right, $2 billion."
The governor does continue his fight for a severance tax on natural gas coming from the Marcellus shale, a battle he has lost for two years.
But he again relies on that to help boost education funding. He wants that funding increased even though there is a big budget deficit.
"Our Commonwealth has been operating with a structural deficit for a long time. That means Harrisburg has been living beyond its means. Households can't do that, and neither can we," said Wolf.
If you live in one of the many municipalities relying on state police coverage, Wolf wants a $25 per person fee.
He's again calling for a hike in the state's minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $12.
"I believe that we can leave the frustrating politics of old behind us and work together to build a brighter future for all Pennsylvanians."
Governor Wolf promised money for education, senior citizens programs, and fighting heroin abuse.
The new budget is supposed to be in place by July 1.
Watch Governor Wolf's full address below.