The budget impasse is clearly impacting the Governor’s approval rates: A Quinnipiac Poll released yesterday shows that a record 53% of voters in Pennsylvania disapprove with the job he’s doing as governor. All over the state, except for Philadelphia, writes John Baer of the Philadelphia Daily News, his approval ratings are lower than ever.
Last night, the House voted 150-49 to reject the Republican budget proposal pushed by Senate GOP leaders. But, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Yesterday brought some hope that there could be movement in the seemingly unsolvable impasse: a conference committee of legislative leaders will, within the next few days, be named to craft a budget that reflects the priorities of both Democrats and Republicans.”
House Appropriations Chairman Dwight Evans says a broad-based tax increase is necessary to fill the budget’s $3.2 billion deficit, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Their plan includes many provisions on how the government and the legislature spend and keep track of money.
Check out exactly where this year’s $28.3 billion dollar budget is being allocated in the Governor’s Office of the Budget site’s easy to read chart. Or, for those of you that are having trouble falling asleep at night, the full text of the final budget bill (SB 1389) is available here.
The Patriot-News reported yesterday that although Gov. Rendell correctly reauthorized the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) until November, the council should never have been in this precarious position in the first place.
Yesterday, around 5:oo PM Sen. Vincent Fumo (D-Philadellphia), a key member in the budget negotiations for many years, became dizzy and then fainted on the Senate Floor.
The last week or so rank-and-file lawmakers have been discussing everything except the state’s budget, while legislative leaders have discussions behind closed doors . Although this may seem odd when the budget is due in four days, this has been the way it’s been done in Harrisburg for many years, reports the Morning Call.
With only four days left before the budget deadline, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette outlines what’s going on at the capitol this weekend.
If budget negotiations between legislative leaders and Governor Rendell stay on track Friday, there just may be an informal deal in place by the weekend. In that case, the House and Senate can begin voting on the budget bill on Monday.