State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Senate won't concur on conservative House plan

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Sep 20, 2017 6:15 AM

All parties say they want to finish negotiations quickly. But so far, no compromise plans have been floated. (Photo by AP)


(Harrisburg) -- Senators are trying to figure out how to move forward on the stalled state budget.

They're planning to formally vote against a conservative House funding plan Wednesday in hopes of kick-starting an expedited process known as a conference committee.

However, there's no guarantee that will happen.

After receiving it last week, Senate leaders quickly made it clear they don't support a House proposal that would close the $2.2 billion budget gap primarily with one-time fund transfers instead of taxes.

They say they'll move to non-concur on the bill as quickly as possible, which would send it back to the House for further action.

Senate GOP spokeswoman Jenn Kocher said they hope the House will then call a conference committee--a relatively rare process where both chambers agree on a bill together, and then House and Senate members can either vote it up or down.

"We recognize and have recognized the importance of moving this through quickly--that's why we acted in July. And now we're still acting as quickly as we can to position things in a way that we can continue to move quickly though the process," Kocher said.

But she adde that the details--like what the final plan in that hypothetical conference committee would look like--are still being worked out.

"We're working together," she said. "Everyone's working together to come up with the final plan."

The House hasn't confirmed what it'll do next.

A spokesman said House and Senate leaders and Governor Tom Wolf are trying to put together lists of things they agree on. 

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