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Ward Talks Budget Impasse, Trust In Government, And PA’s Primary Date

Sen. Kim Ward

One of the most diminutive people in Harrisburg is the person sitting tallest in the saddle with the ability to call the state Senate back in session.

Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) appeared on WHTM’s “This Week in Pennsylvania” program and said that a budget settlement could come sooner than later.

“I’m sure at some point in August, we will be able to get the general appropriation signed,” Ward said. “The treasurer, Stacy Garrity, said she can get checks out to schools within a day. The bottom line is we’re not going to leave Pennsylvanians hanging. We’re going to make sure we do the job we were elected to do.”

Late last week, Republican House Appropriations chair Seth Grove (R-York) stated that he did not think the state would see any movement toward a resolution until October, at the earliest.

“I can’t really give you a date (in August),” said Ward. “But we’re going to try to allieve people’s worries. It’s not in our plan to make Pennsylvanians suffer.”

When asked about budget negotiations, Ward stated that “we are continuing to work and try to negotiate some of the code bills with (Gov. Josh Shapiro). We’re still hoping to talk him out of blue-line vetoing himself (over) the PASS scholarships. There will not be an extended budget delay. I know that (Democrats are) trying to scare people into thinking that they’re never going to get their money, but that’s not true..”

Ward elaborated on the perceived major stumbling block on the budget – the $100 million for school vouchers.

“It is something that we had negotiated with the governor,” she said. “It was one of his initiatives actually. So we are back working now. Trying to maybe claw back or make some agreements on some of the things that we gave when we were negotiating with the governor in order to get these PASS scholarships.

“When you think about how that was done, he agreed with it and the governor was all in and we sent it to the House. And after we vote for it, the governor said, oh, yeah, just kidding. Going to blue line that. So all of the negotiation that we had done and we had, you know, given that he wanted, was all in the package.”

Ward also spoke of her takeaways from negotiating with Shapiro.

“I have learned that maybe a handshake deal doesn’t mean what it used to me,” said Ward. “And that’s how we operate in in government. There are a lot of things in the budget and a lot of moves that we make that are on a handshake deal. We don’t write up a contract. We we negotiate with each other in good faith.

“It will be hard to rebuild that trust, but we have to do it because we have to move forward. We owe the people of Pennsylvania a functioning government. We’re going to have to find a way to move forward. Might take a little while for us to trust him again.”

Ward also added that she wants to see Pennsylvania’s presidential primary be earlier than its scheduled April 23, 2024 date.

“I want us to move up. Pennsylvania never matters in the primary by the time the presidential primary gets to us. Candidates have decided that it always comes down to Pennsylvania. Yeah, we’re always the target state – Pennsylvania and Ohio; Pennsylvania and Florida, but it’s always Pennsylvania. So we should matter. On the front end, as well as the back end.”

Given the budget impasse and a possible fall return by the State Senate, Ward was asked if time is available to get a move done.

“It will have to be done this fall. Absolutely.”

 

2 Responses

  1. Oh boo boo it didn’t go their way. How betrayed do you think Pennsylvania voters felt when the PA Republicans tried to throw our votes out? The Fake Electors party should stop whining and start governing.

    1. Shapiro is right to oppose PASS vouchers. Public money belongs in public schools.





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