Pa House passes budget, Governor waits for revenue plan before signing

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania lawmakers beat the midnight June 30 deadline to enact a new state budget. The state House voted 144 - 54 to approve SB 1073, the $31.5 billion spending plan increasing funding to public schools and to combat Pennsylvania's opioid drug crisis.

Most representatives hurried out of the chambers right after the vote.

"The people of Pennsylvania have all said 'Hey guys, get your act together and get some work done,' and I think to our credit, we've done that," Rep. Joe Markosek, (D) - Allegheny County, said.

The six representatives who make up the York County Republican delegation in the House all voted against the budget bill, and issued the following joint statement:

“Pennsylvania has decades of deep-rooted fiscal problems that cannot be solved by simply throwing more money at them. In addition to increasing spending to unsustainable levels, this budget fails to address cost drivers that will come roaring back in 2017-18. We must turn away from the failed budgetary practices of the past and hold government accountable to the taxpayers who foot our bills."

The bill is only part of the package of legislation that makes up the budget, and there's no agreement yet about where lawmakers are going to find more than $1 billion in new revenue to fund it.

"It's never going to be unanimous, it's never easy, but nevertheless, I think we will get a majority that will vote for the revenues to pay for this," Markosek said.

Governor Wolf released this statement after lawmakers passed the bill:

"I want to commend leaders and members in both chambers for passing a bi-partisan, compromise budget that invests more money in early childhood, K through 12 and higher education, and also provides vital resources to combat the heroin crisis. I am pleased that working together we took this important step to move the commonwealth forward. I will sign the General Appropriations bill as soon as there is a sustainable revenue package to pay for it, and I look forward to continuing to work with the legislature to achieve this.”