(Aug 26) Plan to override state budget fails

The Democrats stuck together, denying Republicans the two-thirds votes needed to override vetoes while arguing that the state Constitution does not even allow the General Assembly to force into law particular spending lines from a budget that had been vetoed in full.

It was a day of activity at the state Capitol, but one with little to suggest that eight weeks without a state budget has brought Pennsylvania’s elected leaders much closer to agreeing to one.

In the early afternoon, Gov. Tom Wolf and legislative leaders exited a private meeting with little progress to report. Mr. Wolf said he had not closed the door to agreeing to a Republican offer of increased K-12 education funding in exchange for his acceptance of a plan to end the defined-benefit pension for most future state and public school workers. But he said he still has questions about the savings promised by the proposal.

“I don’t like sitting in a meeting where every so often the number changes by a couple billion dollars,” Mr. Wolf said later in the day, during an appearance at Carnegie Mellon University. “So today I was disappointed.”

Republicans sounded frustrated, and in the House, they proceeded to bring up various lines of their budget, which Mr. Wolf vetoed June 30, in an attempt to override particular sections.

On the floor, Republicans argued they were fighting to get money to services such as rape crisis centers and domestic violence prevention. Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Adolph, R-Delaware, said the budget lines being voted on had been agreed to by Mr. Wolf and Republicans.

Full story: Plan to override state budget fails, by Karen Langley and Kate Giammarise, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau, 08/26/15

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