Lawmakers Back To Full-Time Budget Talks, No Agreements Yet

Oct 3, 2017

After a week of closed talks between legislative leaders and Governor Tom Wolf, the House and Senate are back in session together for the first time in months.

Leaders say they have a loose budget structure to work from now, though no one has officially agreed to anything.

The House hasn’t yet held official discussions with members about the framework, but the Senate did Monday afternoon.

After he emerged from a long, closed caucus meeting, GOP leader Jake Corman told reporters that roughly 10 pieces of legislation will need to pass in order to truly balance the budget.

“I mean, look, we’re closer than we’ve been in some time, clearly,” he said. “We actually brought the members back in to discuss elements of things the governor and House leadership and I talked about last week.”

He said the final plan will probably include a bill to legalize video gaming terminals at truck stops—a House priority that the Senate hadn’t previously supported.

Corman didn’t name any other sources of recurring funding, but indicated he thinks some sort of tax increase is necessary.

“You know the House plan that they passed over to us that we non-concurred on, best-case scenario, would have had a $700 million hole at the end of the year,” he said. “You’ve got to fill that somehow.”

Lawmakers aren’t saying when they expect to have a plan finished.

The House is scheduled to resume session at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, and the Senate at 1 p.m.