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State Democratic senators are challenging Gov. Tom Corbett’s top public welfare official over the administration’s moves to stop the growth of spending despite rising demand and health care costs.

Sen. Vincent Hughes asked Public Welfare Secretary Gary Alexander on Tuesday how he justifies a proposed $275 million tax cut for businesses while slashing benefits and reimbursements for the poor and disabled.

Alexander didn’t address tax cuts, but maintains that the current safety-net programs are unsustainable, and Pennsylvania is getting less money from the federal government. Alexander was appearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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