Thursday Budget Buzz: Hurry Up & Wait
Here are the latest updates from the contentious budget fight.
This is a daily feature PoliticsPA will run until the state budget is passed.
Deadline, Schmedline. Zogby Says Guv Would Work Past June 30: “There is no deadline. The governor is prepared to work as long as it takes to get progress on his agenda for Pennsylvania. If that means working past the June 30th, he is prepared to do that,” Budget Secretary Charles Zogby told PennLive.
Senate Approps Chair Indicates Willingness to Wait: Jake Corman (R-Centre) was reported as saying that he was most focused on getting the budget passed and Corbett’s big three agenda could wait until the fall
Senate did not Convene for Liquor Vote: Wednesday the Senate was convened, introductions were made, and then both parties were dismissed to caucus. This temporarily avoided a vote on Senate Law and Justice Chairman Chuck McIlhinney’s amended liquor legislation.
House Transportation Amendments Shift: According to the PA Independent, the House transportation committee, whose meeting has been delayed five times in the last two days, has moved away from the Hess amendment which would gut public transit funding, to gain cross party support. The new proposal would downsize funding from $2.5B to $2.1B, reduce spending on mass transit, avoid privatizing transit routes, and push aside the prevailing wage issue.
Senate Approps Passes Ed Funding Bills: Some non-mandatory higher education funding bills for 2013-14 passed. The state-related universities were mostly flat-funded. Penn State got $272 million, plus a $2 million bump for the university’s Penn College of Technology. Pitt got $136 million plus a $217,000 increase to $2.3 million for the university’s Rural Education Outreach program. Temple got about $140 million and saw no increase. Lincoln, the smallest of the state-related universities, got a $2 million bump for about $13 million. The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine got a $124,000 bump for about $28 million.