Pa. House and Senate Nearing Budget Agreement
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Chester) and House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Bradford Woods) said they are engaged with other Republican leaders in ongoing negotiations to finalize the state budget proposal for fiscal year 2013.
They aim to present the budget to Gov. Corbett as early as next week, well in advance of the June 30 deadline.
Democratic leaders were not invited to take part in today’s negotiations.
Earlier this month, a plan was formulated in the Senate which restored nearly $500 million in spending that was cut by Gov. Corbett in his February budget proposal. It passed May 9.
The counter-proposal was made possible after the Senate passed a $27.6 billion spending plan, nearly 2 percent higher than the governor’s budget.
While the Senate budget makes room for greater spending, strict prioritization is key to Senate-House considerations for allocating funds.
For instance, both chambers blocked amendments aimed at restoring a $150 million that would restore funding for a $150 million cash assistance program
According to Morning Call, the Senate plan has three main priorities: “the partial restoration of some funding for K-12 education, higher education and some welfare spending, particularly for the mentally handicapped.”
Turzai said the Senate plan is “fiscally responsible while still balancing the needs of Pennsylvania citizens.”
Pileggi said that Republicans from both caucuses agreed on core concepts, and that they were just “working through the details.”
Corbett expressed outright displeasure with the Senate’s initial budget plan, so it is unclear how he will react to a new proposal negotiated between both chambers.