State House Sound Bites

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

Legislature stands by as budget delays persist

Written by Katie Meyer | Jul 12, 2016 10:20 PM
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It's been nearly two weeks since House Republicans announced they were advancing a funding proposal. There is still no agreement on any plan. (Photo by AP)

(Harrisburg) -- Lawmakers say they're continuing to crawl towards a decision on a revenue package to fund the state budget. But negotiations keep hitting snags.

After optimistic predictions that a funding plan would be voted on by Tuesday, the House and Senate are, once again, tacking on another session day to hammer out details on the still-unfinished bill.

Senate GOP spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher says one new obstacle is deciding whether to raise limits on charter school enrollments.

"There were some concerns over, actually, charter schools and looking at charter school reforms what we might be able to do there," Kocher said. "It looks like that may or may not happen at this point. We're not going to allow it hold up the entire process."

Opponents say that proposal could be a burden on school districts, like Philadelphia, that are already struggling financially.

Still, Kocher said Senate leaders feel a decision can be reached this week.

"Members are staying for another night, because we feel like if we have just another day, we can really push this toward a final package and a final budget solution," she said.

Similar news came out of the House. Republican Spokesman Steven Miskin said they're hoping for a vote soon.

The spending portion of the budget became law Monday night without the Governor's signature.

It's short $1.3 billion dollars of revenue, which some lawmakers say makes the bill unconstitutional.

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