PA House conspicuously absent as Senate returns to pass budget, House R’s respond

03 August 2023- Pennsylvania’s Republican led Senate returns early to pass a budget and projections for the current fiscal year, but the state’s Democrat held House of Representatives looks to be contempt to stand pat, waiting for a scheduled return in September. Republican leadership, which remains in the minority by a single seat, says that they will keep trying to get the House back into session to pass the budget, which would include their proposed $100M in state Lifeline Scholarships to the students in the lowest performing schools in the state.

House Republican leadership has put the blame on the lack of a budget squarely on the Democrats, and specifically on their supposed leader Governor Josh Shapiro. The below op-ed by House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler entitled “Budget Reflects Missed Opportunities, Broken Trust”, is one of many please by the minority party to return to the negotiating table in the last month.

With the Pennsylvania Senate returning to session on Thursday to sign the General Appropriations Act and transmit the bill to the governor, House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) said the budget process reflects missed opportunities and broken trust among elected officials.

“What remains truly disappointing about this year’s state budget process is the opportunity that has been missed to work across the aisle to achieve something truly substantial for Pennsylvania’s students and families,” Cutler said. “Instead, we are left with broken trust among those sent to Harrisburg by Pennsylvanians expecting their interests to be put first.”

Reflecting on the budget process to this point, Cutler noted there were also many missed opportunities for success.

“Even though the Senate is making the decision to advance the General Appropriations Act today to avoid financial strain on many who depend on state government, the single point of failure in this budget remains the majority-fluid House Democratic leadership who essentially vetoed a good faith and bipartisan budget agreement between Gov. Josh Shapiro and the Pennsylvania Senate to immediately help Pennsylvania students hopelessly trapped in failing schools,” Cutler stated.

“Much work needs to be done to conclude the budget process. We remain ready, willing and able to work with anyone who wants to work with us to finalize important budget-related bills, but continued silence and intransigence from our colleagues across the aisle will only prolong this unnecessary impasse to the detriment of Pennsylvanians.”