Unchartered territory for Pa. budget talks

Written by Rachel McDevitt/Radio Pennsylvania | Jul 3, 2015 6:36 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Chris Knight

(Lancaster) -- State budget negotiations are set to resume Monday, after the three-day holiday weekend.

But, political experts say progress will likely be slow.

Governor Tom Wolf's full veto of the Republicans' budget is the first in 40 years.

Terry Madonna, professor of Political Science at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, says it's possible Wolf did it for effect, but also could have rejected the plan knowing there would be no immediate consequences.

State employees will still get paid and critical services will be safe, so Madonna says there's not much to force compromise.

"Given the fact that there's no hard deadline, there's no urgency, there's no press to get it done immediately and without that, it's simply something that looks like it could go on for a long time," he says.

Madonna says the current political climate in the state legislature makes for uncharted territory with both sides digging their heels in and no sign of resolution.

Wolf rejected a Republican-backed bill to privatize the state-controlled sales of wine and liquor yesterday.

He also vetoed a budget-related public schools bill that contained a new formula to distribute state aid to districts, saying it didn't reversed deep cuts in school funding.

The governor hasn't announced whether he'll sign a bill that would make major changes to the two large public-sector pension plans, for teachers and state workers.

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