State Senate Introduces Plan To Restore Prison Funding

Jan 20, 2016

The state is preparing to restore close to $1 billion to the state corrections system.
Credit SCI Albion / cor.pa.gov

The state Senate is lining up a plan to restore state prison funding vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf late last year, in an attempt to clean up some of the fallout from the state’s messy budget impasse, now in its seventh month.

The bill would bring back more than $900 million to the state corrections system. Wolf’s partial veto eliminated those funds, as well as billions more for healthcare, agriculture and other items, in a bid to compel lawmakers to strike a budget deal.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa said undoing that partial veto in a piecemeal fashion doesn’t keep the pressure on anybody to end the gridlock and pass a complete spending plan.

“There’s no sense of urgency from anyone anymore to get this thing done, and it’s frustrating,” said Costa.

Piecemeal though it may be, the funding restoration would avert potential disruptions in state prison operations, said GOP Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman.

“Look, do I wish it was the entire budget? Yeah,” Corman said. “But they’re going to run out of money.”