Pennsylvania Senate Republican leaders say they won’t seriously consider a spending plan passed by the House this week.
The House passed the spending portion of the state’s budget package this week.
Democratic leaders hailed the vote as a sign they’re committed to finishing the budget before the June 30th deadline for the first time in years.
But Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman, a Centre County Republican, says the upper chamber isn’t taking the spending plan seriously.
He says the state’s financial situation won’t settle into focus until May, so it’s improper to pass a budget before then.
"Right now, as I said, the governor projected a 500 million dollar deficit. It looks like it’s going to be much more significant than that. But also, the revenue projection – the governor projected a 3.2 percent increase in revenues for next year. Unfortunately, that looks a little optimistic right now."
Governor Rendell’s budget would increase spending by about a billion dollars. Corman and other Republicans say that’s inappropriate. They want to trim the spending plan so it’s in line with Pennsylvania's’s diminished revenue.
Corman says House Democratic Appropriations Committee Chairman Dwight Evans stepped over the line by threatening Attorney General Tom Corbett’s funding.
"The Attorney General has an important job to do. He has a job that goes from public corruption to child predators to senior citizen abuse to all sorts of things. And to cut his budget just because you’re angry at a policy decision he’s made is inappropriate."
Corman says Corbett has a right to join the lawsuit against the newly-enacted health care law.