HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The deadline for Pennsylvania lawmakers to finalize a state budget is Thursday, June 30, but can Democrats and Republicans agree on final touches before that date? The last three session days have been canceled, including Monday’s.
Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R) says that question is up in the air as lawmakers hoped to come to an agreement over the weekend. Ward’s team says there has been no movement on budget discussions with the governor despite Senate efforts up until Sunday evening.
This time around, Pennsylvania has a good problem — more than $7 billion coming from the feds plus state revenues that are $3 billion ahead of projects.
However, problems are still arising. Democrats want to spend to fix structural problems and send money to schools, while Republicans want to save some of it for the future.
“Yes, the governor wants to make sure we make a historic investment in education. We have a historic surplus, we should not be forwarding taxpayer dollars at the expense of students and property tax payers,” said Rep. Matt Brandford (D), appropriations chairman.
Republicans want to send money to schools, but Gov. Tom Wolf wants to send a lot more. They say they will pick up the debate again this week and hope to beat the Thursday deadline.