Sunday Budget Buzz: Lawmakers Prep for Extra Innings
The House and Senate appear to be locked in a game of chicken over liquor reform and transportation spending. Both chambers recessed Saturday night after aborting key votes on those issues.
However, both chambers appear poised to finish the budget on time and tackle the two big issues separately in a special session starting Monday.
The House and Senate will each convene at 11am Sunday.
Here are the latest updates from the contentious budget fight.
House Designates Session Days on Monday, Tues: While House Republican leaders expect the budget to be done on time, accompanying code updates that come with it may not. It is for this reason House Majority Leader Mike Turzai said that session days have been planned for Monday and Tuesday.
House GOP Lacks Transportation Votes: The House was expected to pass the $2 billion transportation funding bill, but the session was ended early without action on the issue. The Republican leadership claims it does not have sufficient support within its party and needs support from across the aisle. Republicans are blaming Democrats for not supporting the transportation package – accusing them of doing so to scuttle the liquor reform bill.
…And Capitolwire’s Pete DeCoursey says the House GOP isn’t acting like a majority party on transportation.
Senate Adjourns, No Vote on Liquor: Seeing the transportation bill stall in the House was enough to stall liquor in the Senate. With some Republicans wavering, Senate GOP leaders are courting Dems.
Senate Approps Committee Clears Medicaid Expansion: The full Senate will now vote on a bill that would expand Medicaid under Obamacare. The Appropriations Committee – which includes 16 Republicans – voted unanimously for the bill. House Republicans and Governor Corbett oppose the move.
Phila Senators, GOP Leaders Fight Over Ed Funds: Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Jake Corman (R-Centre) says the budget being advanced dedicates an additional $30 million to stressed schools, but Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Phila) says that the bill’s $14 million for Philly Schools is not nearly enough for a city that had sought $120 million.
$28.4 Billion Budget Clears Senate Appropriations Committee: A budget with Governor Corbett’s support has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The budget may receive a floor vote Sunday morning.
GOP Considering Delays to Corporate Tax Cuts, Stronger Delaware Loophole Fix: As negotiations over the Tax Code continue, the plan lawmakers are deliberating would delay the phase-out of a business assets tax and strengthen a bill aimed at businesses using the so-called Delaware Loophole.