State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

House leaders tout compromise, but still no final budget post-deadline

Written by Katie Meyer | Jul 1, 2016 1:55 AM
Capitol from distance.jpg

Though the new fiscal year has begun, the state budget is still not finalized.(Photo by EAWB/Flickr)

The state budget's June 30th deadline has come and gone, and though the legislature has made strides, there is still no final verdict.

The House and Senate have agreed to a 31-point-six billion dollar spending plan, which some House leadership said heralded an end to the budget process.

"I think it's very important that we understand that we are doing something here tonight that we couldn't do the last few years. We are passing an on-time budget on time," said Appropriations Committee minority chair Democrat Joseph Markosek in his remarks on the House floor.

A key part of the budget is still missing, however--a concrete revenue plan that would pay for it.

In his remarks, Republican Butler County Representative Daryl Metcalfe expressed frustration at this fact.

"[It] still remains to be seen how anyone's going to pay for this budget," Metcalfe said. "We don't have currently the revenues on track to pay for it without additional legislation that hasn't been revealed to the general membership."

Governor Tom Wolf said in a statement that he will not sign the budget without a balanced funding plan in place, although he said he wanted to "commend leaders and members in both chambers for passing a bi-partisan, compromise budget that invests more money in early childhood, K through 12 and higher education, and also provides vital resources to combat the heroin crisis."

The House and Senate are meeting Friday for further discussion. It is possible that funding negotiations will continue into another week.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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