June 12, 2014

Corbett: Tackle State Pension Problems, Then We’ll Talk About The Budget

Gov. Corbett this week issued a clear challenge to the House and Senate Republicans-- seriously tackle the state’s rising state and school employee pension costs and then he’ll talk about ways to plug the expected $1.6 billion budget gap.
Corbett also said privately he doesn’t expect an on-time budget this year, one of the hallmarks of his Administration, because he wants the Senate and House to make some tough budget decisions.
The House this week tried and failed to get enough votes for a modest pension reform measure in the form of Amendment A06917 to  House Bill 1353 introduced by Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill) and adjourned before a vote was taken.
Gov. Corbett last week said he supported the amendment.
The Senate didn’t fair any better with a modest wine, beer and liquor privatization proposal.  Twice Senate Republicans tried to put together enough votes to amend House Bill 790 (Turzai-R-Allegheny), the House Republican liquor reform proposal, in the Senate Appropriations Committee this week and failed.  It was never brought to a vote.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) said there is plenty of time for lawmakers to complete work on a budget noting it’s always painfully slow at the beginning of June.  “We got dog years ahead of us,” said Sen. Scarnati.
On Monday, June 16 the House is expected to begin formal consideration of the General Fund budget bill-- House Bill 2328 (Adolph-R-Delaware)-- in hopes of moving the process along.
Both the House and Senate will be in session four out of five days next week and have scheduled to be in every day for the remainder of June starting June 23.
The budget clock is ticking, but with big decisions expected from the General Assembly in a short time, Gov. Corbett may be correct-- we’re going into July folks!
Senate GOP, Corbett Restart Liquor Privatization