Behind Closed Doors, Budget Negotiations Are Underway

Jun 16, 2017

With a little over two weeks until the state budget is due, House and Senate Republicans have been holding closed meetings to hash out details.

Few concrete plans are available, but GOP leaders say they’re on roughly the same page on spending.

A few months ago House Republicans released their budget proposal, which would spend about $800 million less than Democratic Governor Tom Wolf’s blueprint and not raise taxes.

The Senate’s GOP majority hasn’t released its own plan yet, and it’s unclear if they will.

Caucus spokeswoman Jenn Kocher said senators agree with much of the House’s early April plan, though with this year’s budget shortfall having since grown to well over a billion dollars, she added that it needs some updates.

“We’re looking at that,” she said. “The House is engaged on that—they recognize that there are some differences between then and now, and we’ll figure all that into any type of final plan that we develop.”

One thing the Senate and House may have differences on? Gambling—a key budget component.

The House passed an omnibus gambling expansion last week that includes legalization of iGaming and video gaming terminals.

Senate leaders have said they’re iffy on the terminals, and are reviewing the bill in-depth next week.