PA-BGT: House Moves Wolf’s Spending Plan Forward

pa-state-capitol-b175d9a07740ecf3Can it be true?

The PA House of Representatives has scheduled marathon sessions on Wednesday to try to end the six-month budget impasse, after several votes Tuesday cleared the way for a $30.8 billion spending plan agreed to by the State Senate and Gov. Tom Wolf.

The House narrowly moved the bill to full consideration on the House floor, with a final vote of 100-97. 19 moderate Republicans joined 81 Democrats to work toward passing a budget package before leaving for the holidays. 5 lawmakers – 3 GOP, 2 Dems – did not participate in the final vote.

House Majority Leader Dave Reed – who championed a stopgap proposal on Monday – said the House will not be able to move forward until the Senate signals its intent for tax revenues.

“We can’t send a budget bill to the governor without a tax code bill to pay for it,” Reed said.

It is unclear what the tax plan will look like, but it is estimated the state will need to raise $650 to $700 million to balance the budget. Wolf is looking for closer to $1 billion to address the state’s structural deficits.

“I think we’re a step closer to the budget we all want,” was Wolf’s only comment to reporters on Tuesday.

It is also unclear where pension reform legislation will fall in the final budget, though it is a key part of the GOP-controlled state Senate’s agreement with Wolf.

The PA House is scheduled to be in session starting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, while the State Senate has scheduled voting sessions for 1 p.m.

House Republicans who crossed the aisle:

Stephen Barr

Brian Ellis

Harold English

Frank Farry

Robert Godshall

Kate Harper

Adam Harris

Harry Lewis

Nick Miccarelli

Duane Milne

Bernie O’Neill

John Payne

Marguerite Quinn

Chris Ross

James Santora

John Taylor

Tarah Toohil

Mike Vereb

Martina White

December 23rd, 2015 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Governor, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 10 Comments

10 thoughts on “PA-BGT: House Moves Wolf’s Spending Plan Forward”

  1. Steventodd says:

    Thank you John Payne. And I don’t often say that.

  2. ChuckBronson says:

    Jerome writes: “get a second job like the rest of us!” as he comments instead of actually working at his second job.

  3. Uno Pizzaboy says:

    It’s time for Ben Zhang to broker this budget deal.

  4. Isaac L. says:

    jerome – why don’t you go Galt and move to Somalia?

  5. rsklaroff says:

    [h/t to Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania (CAP), run by Leo Knepper]

  6. rsklaroff says:

    I sent the following e-mail to Rep. Mike Vereb:

    http://abc27.com/2015/12/14/will-there-be-a-budget-by-christmas/

    “I think Christmas is one of those dates where everyone wants to get this done,” said Representative Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery), “but I think you’ll find those in our caucus (House GOP), including myself, who are just not interested in voting for a billion-dollar tax increase.”

  7. jerome says:

    Freeking live within your means. You steal enough already. People want more money? Go and get a second job like the rest of us! Probably for most it would be a first job though. No wonder so many are leaving the state. Corrupt politics at its best.

  8. BellaVistaMama says:

    Thank you for crossing the aisle to get a PA budget done.
    Many of us in Philly are alarmed by the changes to the school code that will impact only our district (see: http://educationvoterspa.org/blog/statement-of-education-voters-comment-on-proposed-school-code-language/) but recognize the larger need for a full-year budget across the state.
    Good luck on the final votes and moves needed to bring the budget to a resolution.

  9. BellaVistaMama says:

    Thank you for crossing the aisle to get a PA budget done.
    Many of us in Philly are alarmed by the changes to the school code that will impact only our district (see: http://educationvoterspa.org/blog/statement-of-education-voters-comment-on-proposed-school-code-language/) but recognize the larger need for a full-year budget across the state.
    Good luck on the final votes and moves needed to bring the budget to a resolution.

  10. Grateful says:

    Very good to see some in the Philadelphia Region delegation step up and make common sense compromise honorable again.

    Budgets are tough. What the legislators would have done and still could do to people of lives in not getting a deal done would, could be…unforgivable.

    Tough decisions need to be made by tough minded, yet reasonable people.

    The jury is still out on if we have that in Harrisburg. We’ll know in a few hours/days.

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