PA-BGT: Mutiny in the Legislature
Rank-and-file Republicans held a closed-doors meeting on Saturday, after which they told reporters they would not be supporting the plan negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, House Majority Leader Dave Reed and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. That plan includes $30.7 billion in spending, including $350 million in additional education funding.
After their meeting, House Republicans signaled their intent to seek a smaller budget plan: $30.3 billion in spending, with only $150 million for education, Charles Thompson of the Patriot News reports. The plan proposes no changes to the state’s sales or income taxes.
“We’re trying to deliver a budget that we think we can get the votes to pass,” Rep. Kerry Benninghoff said.
Wolf has spent much of the last few weeks trying to keep Harrisburg on the same page to push forward with negotiations, though it has been hard keeping the debates productive.
“Nearly one month ago, Republican leaders agreed to a budget with me that includes the largest increase in education funding, at all levels, in the history of Pennsylvania,” Wolf said in a statement Saturday. “It is long past time for the Legislature to move ahead with this agreement and end this impasse.”
Lawmakers in the capital appear no closer to ending the budget stalemate than they were at the start of the 23-week ordeal.