State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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Senate hits restart on budget negotiations

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Sep 21, 2017 6:35 AM
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Senate President pro tempore Joe Scarnati has repeatedly called for the House to agree to pass recurring revenue. (Photo by AP)

(Harrisburg) -- The GOP-controlled state Senate has formally rejected a conservative budget plan passed by the House--essentially resetting negotiations nearly three months past the deadline.

Now, Republicans in the House and Senate will attempt to work with Governor Tom Wolf to figure out a compromise.

Wolf has said he wants to get the budget done by October first.

But the general consensus from the House and Senate has been that that's a stretch.

Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said inter-chamber negotiations are starting this week, and will probably last through next week.

"It'll be hard, I'll be honest with you," he told reporters. "We're going to be here. We're going to go on recess with a six-hour call today, but I'll be here and staff will be here, and hopefully we'll get a resolution. Whether it's by October first, I don't know."

House GOP Spokesman Steve Miskin confirmed the chamber isn't expecting any votes next week, but said they hope to have a plan put together the week after.

What that plan will look like is unclear.

Senate Republican leaders and Wolf maintain they're uncomfortable with any budget that doesn't have recurring revenue, like the one the House proposed that aimed to fill much of the gap with fund transfers.

"We would still end up with a deficit at the end of the year," Corman said. "We would be using a significant amount of one-time funds to balance a 2.2 billion dollar hole."

Miskin said the House agrees there's a fiscal problem, but members still don't support tax increases.

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