Harrisburg – Working to provide financial relief to school districts and social service agencies impacted by the prolonged budget impasse, state Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24) today voted for a three-bill “stop-gap” budget package, which was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
The move is the latest effort to help schools, counties, municipalities and agencies that saw their state payments end on July 1 after Governor Wolf vetoed a budget passed by the Legislature on June 30 — almost immediately after its passage by the General Assembly.
“We have a governor who, unfortunately, is not negotiating in good faith. He’s using children, teachers and people in need as pawns to force passage of a tax hike that is larger than those proposed in the other 49 states combined,” said Mensch. “Along with the previously passed budget and compromise plans that followed, this marks our fourth attempt to get vital funding to agencies that are being crippled by Gov. Wolf’s strategy.”
Mensch said the three-bill package provides $11.2 billion in state allocations, releasing more than $1 billion being withheld from schools and restoring funding for critical programs and services. That represents one-third of the state funding as authorized by the budget Wolf vetoed in July. The stop-gap budget also allocates the federal money Pennsylvania administers for schools and local governments.
“The governor is withholding more than $1 billion in school funding in his bid to impose the largest spending increase and the largest tax increase in Pennsylvania’s history. This, after rejecting a compromise budget that fully funded his education budget request,” Mensch said.
“Today’s action would pay schools the funds they are due, while allowing budget negotiations to continue. Gov. Wolf’s continued governing-by-veto-pen is indefensible at this point.”
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