PA-BGT: House Dems Get Paid

pa-state-capitol-b175d9a07740ecf3Democratic members of the PA House of Representatives can stop worrying about their next paycheck.

The House Democratic caucus will receive a $1.9 million advance from the State Treasury, after the caucus had burned through its reserve funds in the two months since the state’s budget lapsed, according to Kate Giammarise of the Post-Gazette.

“Without the ability to pay its employees, the General Assembly would be unable to enact laws related to the promotion and preservation of the general welfare – including the enactment of a budget,” the Treasurer’s office said in a statement explaining the advance. “Sufficient legal justification exists” to continue paying legislators and their staff during a budget impasse, the statement said.

Steve Miskin, spokesman for the House Republican caucus, called the advance “unprecedented,” with the Post-Gazette reporting the GOP may challenge the constitutionality of the move. A salary pinch could have seen Democrats lose a chunk of their bargaining power.

The advance will be taken out of the Democrats’ legislative appropriation once a budget has been passed. GOP legislators and Gov. Tom Wolf have been unable to reach any budgetary agreement since June 30, when Wolf vetoed the GOP’s entire budget proposal.

15 Responses

  1. Wally, the house dems didn’t run out of money first because they were more willing to give up their surplus in the past to balance the budget. Surely you jest. No, it’s because they have a huge staff payroll even after falling farther and farther into the minority. Think about it – the caucuses split up the money on a proportional basis based on the number of members in each caucus. All things equal, one would think everyone would run out of money at the same time. The fact that the dems ran out of money first shows they either were profligate spenders on mailings etc or have too heavy a payroll. Either way asking for a loan to pay house dem staff is a new low. I wonder if Chester Upland will get an “advance”? If so, maybe we don’t need a budget at all – Wolf can just advance everyone money forever!

  2. Interesting … Obviously, the democrats were more willing to give up their reserves to balance past budgets than republicans. The tax and spend liberals are more fiscally conservative than the republicans … I never thought I would see the day.

  3. I guess the Dems do not have as much in reserve socked away like their counterparts. Which makes me wonder why millions and millions of dollars are socked away in the first place. If the State employees were not getting paid, this stalemate would probably be over.

  4. Isaac L confuses need with want. Common Democrat mistake with money. Like blaming republicans for their mistakes, also common.

  5. You vote Republican because they would rather take out a loan with a private bank and waste taxpayer money on interest payments (probably paying back some donors) than take an interest-free loan from the Treasury? More evidence that fiscal conservatism and fiscal responsibility are not at all related.

  6. Maybe if they’d stop producing dance videos, they wouldn’t blow through their reserves so quickly.

  7. Well this is laughable. Wonder if Treasury would still agree to a bail out if the shoe were on the other foot. Doubtful.

  8. I don’t smoke or drink soda,so there,but I am a little short.And a union worker.keep looking for the government for more hand outs.

  9. Jake o … You vote republican because your a mental midget, simpleton … Keep drinking your Diet Dew and smoking your pall malls … Loser … In Merica, People are paid for their labor, it’s in the constitution just like its in the constitution that I have a right to bear arms … I read the whole constitution not just the parts I agree with … Smarten Up, seems to make a good point about the cost to take out a private loan that the republicans propose will cost the taxpayers more and they get to repay favors to political contributors

  10. I’m sure there’s a reasonable consideration outside of blatant greed that this was done, but it is some really bad headline fuel nonetheless.

  11. The House Dem’s are out to lunch … They have 84 members … They aren’t even invited to budget talks … Getting a loan from Treasury is the first smart move they’ve made in years … Taking out a private loan to cover payroll would have Cost the taxpayers more in interest payments … They should be lauded for this money saving measure …

    This was a good opportunity to take out a private loAn and repay some banker/donor for past campaign contributions but they did the right thing. The House Republicans promise to take out a private loan … How will the decide what bank give the loan? Will the bank be affiliated with any campaign donor? The media needs to do their job and press the republicans on these issues and the extra cost they are going to incur.

  12. House Democrats vote against funding food banks and then ask the treasury for a loan to pay their own salaries? Non-profits providing services to intellectually disabled people on behalf of the state are laying off employees and taking bank loans, but democrat elected officials continue to get paid? How many staffers has the House Dem caucus laid off? Don’t they agree with Gov Wolf when he says it’s worth the short term pain to keep holding out for a “good” budget? Shame!

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