Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Senate Republicans Reverse Course, Pass House Republican Budget To Governor

Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) late Wednesday reversed course and moved to strip the “agreed-to” $30.8 billion budget from House Bill 1460 (Adolph-R-Delaware) and revert to the House-passed $30.2 billion budget the House Republicans have been advocating for in order to get a budget bill directly to the Governor’s desk for his action.
The motion passed on a party-line vote of 31 to 19.
The Senate then passed House Bill 1460 without amendment on a mostly party-line vote of 33 to 17.  Senators Judy Schwank (D-Berks) and Andrew Dinniman (D-Chester) crossed party lines.  The bill now goes to the Governor for his action.
Sen. Corman said it was the only way to get state money flowing to school districts and others that need it.  At the same time, he said it doesn’t mean it is the end of budget discussions, although it does violate the budget framework Senate Republicans and Democrats, House Democrats and Gov. Wolf at one point agreed to.
Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia), Minority Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said it was not fair to let one of the five parties in the budget process-- House Republicans-- dictate the state’s budget.
In follow-up media interviews, Sen. Corman said Gov. Wolf still has leverage over the Senate and House because none of the non-preferred appropriations bills were passed and cannot be passed until there is a final budget agreement.
Non-preferreds include appropriations to Penn State University, University of Pittsburgh, Temple University and Lincoln University.
Click Here for a copy of the House Republican budget spreadsheet for House Bill 1460.
Both the Senate and House are now on a 6-hour call.
PLS: Surprise Budget Hits Governor’s Desk And Uncertain Future

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