HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania lawmakers believe a deal on the Pennsylvania state budget is close to completion after missing the June 30 deadline.
Rep. Mary Isaacson (D-Philadelphia) says members are being told they are “very close” to coming to a final agreement. Isaacson says despite policy issues impeding the negotiations, priorities are being met for both sides.
“People get lost on some of their policy priorities and they’re sticking their nose into the budget process with that,” said Isaacson. “We need to make sure we separate the two.”
Democratic House Appropriations Chairman Matt Bradford says there is now mostly agreement on an increase in education funding, which was a sticking point, but he said a big problem has been an attempt by Republicans to hold up funding for the University of Pittsburg because of research it does with fetal tissue.
Lawmakers hope to have the budget done by the end of the week, possibly Friday.
“Tonight is the night,” said State Senator Mario Scavello (R-Monroe/Northampton). “Tonight and tomorrow we’re gonna go through everything.”
Scavello has dealt with 21 state budgets and says he’s still waiting to learn what’s in it. He said he’s not worried about the university funding, but is more concerned with the state’s financial future and Governor Wolf cementing his legacy with a spending spree.
“(Wolf) is gonna get quite a bit of what he wants but you can’t give him everything because you gotta look at the future. He’s not here next year.”
Pennsylvania’s next governor will be decided in the November 8 election with Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro facing Republican State Senator Doug Mastriano.