Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Voting along party lines, the House Appropriations Committee has rejected the budget approved last month by the Republican-controlled state Senate. After two hours of debate, the panel rejected the Senate’s $27.3 billion spending plan by a 20-14 vote. That officially kills the measure in the House. Ranking Republican Mario Civera of Delaware County says the meeting was nothing more than political theater, and said Democrats haven’t come up with any alternatives to the GOP spending plan. Democrats lambasted the Senate budget immediately and the Governor quickly sent out his cabinet to fight the proposal. Civera says, “Whether you agree or you disagree, the Senate wrote a bill that reflects the economy. OK? That reflects the economy. We haven’t written anything on the House side. We haven’t done anything.” Governor Rendell and other Democrats say the Senate budget would have crippled government programs with its funding reductions. The next step in the budget process will likely be another round of cuts by Governor Rendell. Lawmakers have until June 30th to cut a deal, though Governor Rendell has never been able to get a spending plan approved by that deadline.