Government & Politics
7:38 am
Thu July 4, 2013

State Senate, House at Odds Over Last-Minute Addition to Budget-Related Bill

State Senate lawmakers are sending a budget-related bill to the governor’s desk, after a committee went along with a House move to remove Medicaid expansion from the measure.
    
Republicans say adding the Medicaid plan back to the bill would have been wasted effort, since neither the House nor the governor is open to an expansion right now.
    
But Democratic Senator Vincent Hughes of Philadelphia said he’s disappointed, since the earlier Medicaid expansion language passed in the Senate with bipartisan support.  

"The House said, nope, you’re not going to have it, sent it back to the Senate," Hughes said. "And our colleagues in the majority chose to essentially back down from what the House decided to do."
    
The Senate did choose to challenge the House on another budget-related bill over payday lending.  
    
The House added the non-binding language at the last minute to show the Legislature’s “intent” to legalize the high-interest loans.
    
The Senate omitted that language, sending the rest of the bill back to the House for a final vote.
    
Republicans and Democrats say the delay in final passage will not slow the implementation of the budget.
    
The House is not scheduled to come back to Harrisburg for any voting days until September.