Some sort of budget action may be imminent in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
For weeks, Republicans have been harping at Democratic House leaders for not holding a vote on a budget bill. The GOP may soon try to force one. Minority Leader Sam Smith says he’s preparing to call for a discharge motion, which would bring the budget passed by the Senate in May onto the House floor.
Smith says House members need to show which spending plan they support.
"You don’t know right now where the real votes are in the House. Because you haven’t put an appropriations bill there to vote. You just don’t know. Maybe a majority of the House members want to spend 29 billion dollars, like the governor wants. Maybe a majority think we should only spend somewhere in the neighborhood of 27 billion dollars."
The Democratic House caucus is meeting today to decide on a course of action, according to Majority Leader Todd Eachus. He says that could include support for a stopgap measure, a budget vote on the House floor, or other options.
"This is, I think, a moment that has been brewing for weeks. Our members have been deliberative in our approach to this. But there comes a point where leaders have to put all the options before them that will allow for ways to deal with complex issues."
The meeting comes amid increased speculation that Governor Rendell’s proposed income tax increase doesn’t have enough support to clear the House.