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Shapiro: “I Will Line-Item Veto” PASS Voucher Program

Gov. Shapiro's 2023-24 budget address

In an effort to get a state budget passed, Gov. Josh Shapiro has announced that he will line-item veto the $100 million allocated by Senate Republicans for its Pennsylvania Award For Student Success scholarship program (PASS).

“Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation with a full-time, divided legislature — meaning nothing gets done unless it can make it through our Republican-led Senate and our Democratic-led House,” Shapiro said in a press release statement. “Over the past several weeks, I have worked with leaders in both chambers to craft a commonsense, responsible budget that makes critical investments in public safety, agriculture, economic development, public education, workforce development, relief for our seniors, and much more, as I laid out in my budget address in March.

“Last Friday, the Senate passed a responsible budget that delivers critical funding to our shared priorities and sent it to the House for its consideration. Now, we stand at an impasse largely over one provision of this budget, PASS Scholarships, a proposal I support that has been passed by the Senate but one that Leader Bradford has made clear does not have the support of the House, where it was voted down in committee on Friday.

“Over the weekend, (House Majority) Leader (Matt) Bradford (D-Montgomery) requested a legal memo from the Office of General Counsel, which confirmed that without enabling legislation setting up this program, my Administration legally cannot implement it. Knowing that the two chambers will not reach consensus at this time to enact PASS, and unwilling to hold up our entire budget process over this issue, I will line-item veto the full $100 million appropriation and it will not be part of this budget bill.

“While I am disappointed the two parties could not come together, Leader Bradford has given me his word — and he has written a letter outlining directly to (Senate Majority) Leader (Joe) Pittman (R-Armstrong / Indiana / Jefferson /
) — that he will carefully examine and consider additional education options including PASS, Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC), and Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) as we work to address our public education needs in light of the Commonwealth Court’s recent education ruling.

“This is just one of several initiatives important to me that have passed in one chamber but not the other — initiatives like statute of limitations reform, an increase in our minimum wage, commonsense gun safety legislation, and the Fairness Act. It is incumbent upon leaders in both chambers to find ways to work together so that everyone’s ideas are carefully considered and advanced through the legislative process and we can deliver for all Pennsylvanians.

“Our Commonwealth should not be plunged into a painful, protracted budget impasse while our communities wait for the help and resources this commonsense budget will deliver.

“It is our responsibility to deliver a budget that addresses the most pressing issues Pennsylvanians are facing, and so with this commitment, I respectfully urge Democrats and Republicans in the House to now pass the budget bill that has been sent to them by the Senate and send it to my desk.”

this story will be updated

9 Responses

  1. Shapiro has just ended his national hopes to ever be VP or president. Supporting public education is a Democratic priority, and he has finished his whimsical move into national politics.

      1. Dave Diano you have been historically wrong on so many issues it is hard to keep track of how many. Remember you doubled down on HRC winning the 2016 election and have been wrong on everything since. You should pursue some other past times because politics aint gig Bubba!

    1. Nice try, Megan, but you are talking nonsense. David Diano has it right.

      1. The ONLY people that Shapiro is “betraying” are the three multi-millionaire f*ckers who gave Shapiro $150,000 ( $25,000 for his Montco Commissioner race, and $125,000 for his AG race).

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