At Pa. Capitol, Budget Negotiations Drag On

HARRISBURG (News Radio 1020 KDKA) – A week after Gov. Tom Wolf allowed an underfunded budget bill to lapse into law, there was still no indication Monday that a deal on a plan to pay for it was coming together.

Gov. Wolf has allowed the budget bill to become law without his signature. But, budget companion legislation known as “code bills” – such as the public school code — have yet to be sent to the governor.

The state Senate returned to session Monday, but ended up with nothing to show for it, in terms of advancing those companion bills.

And there was, of course, no action on revenue legislation. The top-ranking state Senator, Republican Joe Scarnati, said he believed having the Senate back in the Capitol was important to bringing about a resolution.

“As much as I’d like to, you know, negotiate a budget in my back yard, it doesn’t work that well and so we need to be here. And so that’s why the Senate chose to come back,” said Scarnati.

Republican Jake Corman, the Senate majority leader, believed it was important to have rank-and-file members back in the Capitol as negotiations on a revenue package continued.

“I was just afraid that if we’re all sitting at home, we’re not going to get an agreement. And I think sometimes, it’s good to have the members home, but sometimes it’s good to have them here to try to put pressure on the process to get it done. And sitting at home, I think, would have lengthened this considerably,” said Corman.

But, House leaders obviously are not buying into that strategy.

Their members were not in the Capitol Monday and no date for their return has been announced.

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