HARRISBURG, March 16, 2016 – As another partisan budget proposal was rushed through the Senate today to the governor, state Sen. Vincent Hughes asked Republican leaders to return to the bargaining table instead of working another political gimmick.
But Sen. Hughes’ motion to table House Bill 1801 was defeated and, moments later, Gov. Tom Wolf said he would veto the proposal.[divider top=”0″]
“This proposal would have placed Pennsylvania in a perpetual budget crisis,” Hughes, the Democratic Appropriations Committee chairman said following the Senate’s 31-18 decision. “It didn’t address the basic financial needs of the commonwealth and it failed, again, to properly invest in our schools.
“We can point fingers and roll back the clock but that would be a waste of time. The truth is we are no closer today than we were two months ago. That’s why we need to negotiate and compromise.[divider top=”0″]
“Compromise is hard, but it is necessary, but we must have the political will. We must have the wherewithal to get beyond all the rhetoric and sit together and find common ground on a budget that serves the needs of our citizens.”
Hughes said HB 1801 would have created a $1.7 billion structural deficit and would have all but guaranteed another downgrade in Pennsylvania’s credit rating, which makes borrowing money more expensive.
The senator said he was also concerned the proposal would strip another $40 million from grants to students through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, or PHEAA.