July 10, 2016

Gov. Wolf: General Fund Budget Bill To Become Law With Or Without A Revenue Package

Sunday evening, Gov. Wolf held a press conference to announce the General Fund budget bill-- Senate Bill 1073 (Browne-R-Lehigh)-- will become law with or without a revenue package to support it by midnight Monday, July 11.
If the Senate and House do not pass a package by midnight Monday, Gov. Wolf said he will allow the bill to become law without his signature, even though it is missing about $1.25 billion+ in revenue to support it.
In spite of his announcement, the Governor said he expects lawmakers to meet the midnight deadline.  Click Here to watch the announcement.
In reaction to the Governor’s announcement, House Majority Leader David Reed (R-Indiana) said, “Things aren’t that far apart and instead of starting from scratch [the governor’s announcement] is a much better approach and hopefully he can bring all sides together and get everything signed, sealed, and delivered and be done with it.”
At an earlier press briefing, Rep. Reed said there still was no agreement on a revenue package with any of the other Caucuses and several options were under consideration for moving the issue forward.  He said House Republicans are continuing to work with House Democrats to come to a bipartisan agreement.
Rep. Reed  said the Senate complicated the budget issue somewhat by still insisting pension reform be part of the final package of bills going to the Governor.  He quickly added, pension reform was an issue Senate Republicans needed to work out with House Democrats, since it was the Democrats that voted against the last reform bill-- Senate Bill 1071 (Browne-R-Lehigh).
Click Here for a summary of Senate Bill 1073.  Click Here for a spreadsheet from Senate Republicans showing differences between FY 2015-16 and FY 2016-17 Senate-passed budget.  Click Here for a Senate Fiscal Note and summary.   Click Here for a narrative summary by the House Democratic Appropriations Committee staff.
What’s Next
The House is scheduled to be in voting session on Monday and Tuesday starting at 11:00 a.m.
Before adjourning Sunday, the House did give its final approval to a hemp bill-- House Bill 967 (Diamond-R-Lebanon), not THAT kind of “hemp,” the industrial/agricultural kind of marijuana.  The bill now goes to the Governor for his action.
The Senate is scheduled to be in session on Monday, at this point, starting at 11:00 a.m.  It has already scheduled meetings of the Senate Appropriations and Rules and Executive Nominations committees.
Couloumbis: Wolf To Let $31.5B Spending Plan Become Law