05 July 2023- This afternoon, Governor Josh Shapiro released the following statement ongoing budget negotiations:
“Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation with a full-time, divided legislature — meaning nothing gets done unless it can make it through our Republican-led Senate and our Democratic-led House. Over the past several weeks, I have worked with leaders in both chambers to craft a commonsense, responsible budget that makes critical investments in public safety, agriculture, economic development, public education, workforce development, relief for our seniors, and much more, as I laid out in my budget address in March.
“Last Friday, the Senate passed a responsible budget that delivers critical funding to our shared priorities and sent it to the House for its consideration. Now, we stand at an impasse largely over one provision of this budget, PASS Scholarships, a proposal I support that has been passed by the Senate but one that Leader Bradford has made clear does not have the support of the House, where it was voted down in committee on Friday.
“Over the weekend, Leader Bradford requested a legal memo from the Office of General Counsel, which confirmed that without enabling legislation setting up this program, my Administration legally cannot implement it. Knowing that the two chambers will not reach consensus at this time to enact PASS, and unwilling to hold up our entire budget process over this issue, I will line-item veto the full $100 million appropriation and it will not be part of this budget bill.
“While I am disappointed the two parties could not come together, Leader Bradford has given me his word — and he has written a letter outlining directly to Leader Pittman — that he will carefully examine and consider additional education options including PASS, Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC), and Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) as we work to address our public education needs in light of the Commonwealth Court’s recent education ruling.
“This is just one of several initiatives important to me that have passed in one chamber but not the other — initiatives like statute of limitations reform, an increase in our minimum wage, commonsense gun safety legislation, and the Fairness Act. It is incumbent upon leaders in both chambers to find ways to work together so that everyone’s ideas are carefully considered and advanced through the legislative process and we can deliver for all Pennsylvanians.
“Our Commonwealth should not be plunged into a painful, protracted budget impasse while our communities wait for the help and resources this commonsense budget will deliver.
“It is our responsibility to deliver a budget that addresses the most pressing issues Pennsylvanians are facing, and so with this commitment, I respectfully urge Democrats and Republicans in the House to now pass the budget bill that has been sent to them by the Senate and send it to my desk.”