Budget not signed, lawmakers expected to reconvene Friday morning

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.– UPDATE FROM WOLF’S OFFICE: The legislature did not pass or send the governor all the budget bills. They return at 9am tomorrow.

The state Senate approved a $34 billion budget Thursday afternoon.

The budget, which passed 42-8, now heads to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk, where he’s expected to sign it.

In a 42 to 8 vote, Pennsylvania’s Senate approved the state budget on Thursday after the house passed it on Tuesday. 

It will now head to Governor Tom Wolf’s desk ahead of the July 1 deadline. 

“We’re actually going to finish on time which has not actually been the norm for Harrisburg,” said Jake Corman, Senate Majority Leader (R).

Nearly $34 billion dollars in funding coming with no new or increased taxes.

The new state budget is calling for $12.8 billion in education funding — the largest-ever state investment in Pennsylvania’s schools.  

$300 million dollars will also be added to the rainy day fund.

“This is a fair budget it represents a number of initiatives that Senate Democrats have been working on, particularly reinforces our commitment to investing in our K-12, higher ed and early learning programs,” said Jay Costa, Senate Minority Leader (D). “While we are happy with this budget, know there are couple of initiatives that we lost our opportunity,” added Costa.

The vote comes after chaos broke out in the state senate Wednesday.

Republicans and Democrats arguing over the elimination of the general assistance program — offering $200 a month to people who are unable to work. 

Senate majority leader Jake Corman getting into a screaming match with Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman — calling him a partisan hack. 

“I haven’t had a chance to leader Corman, you know, things were said in anger, if he still feels that way, I can’t change that but regardless of the fact I’m just glad that the senate was able to come together and approve this budget,” said Fetterman.

Republicans and Democrats pushing controversy to the side on Thursday, moving forward to vote on the budget.

“There’s things you like, things you don’t like but in large on this particular budget I think there’s a lot to like because I think what we try to do Mr. President is fund what works, so Mr. president that is why we are here, said Corman. 

“There’s always things you may not like about a certain budget but you know right now we have divided government. You have Republican legislator we have a Democratic Governor, that fact that we are coming to consensus and on time I think says a lot,” said Senator Scott Martin (R).

Governor Tom Wolf is expected to sign the budget as soon as it crosses his desk.

The 2019-2020 fiscal year starts on Monday.

 

Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York)

“This state budget strikes a responsible balance between funding important services while making necessary reforms to ensure future fiscal stability. While this budget is not perfect, it is a reasonable compromise that does not include any broad-based tax increases that would adversely affect the hardworking residents of York County.

“I am pleased to continue the state’s commitment to funding school safety programs and support services benefiting area senior citizens. Most importantly, the entire budget surplus of $300 million will go into the state’s rainy day fund. Ensuring we live within our means, plan for the future and do not hike taxes on York Countians, I was able to support the state budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020.

“We have a lot of critical issues we must address, including school property tax relief, reforming our state’s regulatory climate and other long-term budgetary reforms. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work over the summer on the issues that are a priority to the people of York County.”

Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Lehigh/Northampton)

“I’m pleased this budget holds the line on taxes while strengthening our investment in education. It will also stoke our state’s continued economic resurgence.

Using surplus dollars, we increased subsidies for public schools by $160 million, including almost $4 million more to the school districts I represent.  It provided an across-the-board 2 percent hike for college funding. The budget also includes a $25 million investment in the state’s earned income tax credit program that benefits private and parochial schools.

While I am pleased with the state’s continued investment in education, it is imperative that we change the law to distribute all educational subsidy dollars under the new equitable funding formula. The continued use of the old and antiquated funding formula to distribute the lion’s share of educational subsidies is patently unfair and the cause for many of the property tax hikes imposed on homeowners throughout our region.

Overall, I am pleased with this budget’s continued investment in economic and community development programs that grow our jobs and improve opportunities for all Pennsylvanians. It is a robust economy that will continue to drive prosperity for all Pennsylvanians. We need to continue to ensure that the money we invest in educating our youth is coupled with real job opportunities here in Pennsylvania.”

This is a developing story. It will be updated when more information becomes available.

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