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June 13, 2012 | By | Posted in Legislature

PA: GOP leaders blow unofficial deadline as budget talks continue

Unofficial deadline of June 13 officially blown
 
By Eric Boehm | PA Independent
 
HARRISBURG — When budget negotiations began in earnest late May, Republican House and Senate lawmakers pointed to June 13 as their deadline for getting the spending plan to Gov. Tom Corbetts desk.

 
Well, that deadline is passed with no budget on the table, but this is no surprise. Many saw this deadline as optimistic posturing on the part of Republicans, who control the entire process for the second consecutive year in a row.
 
The state constitution actually requires a budget to be passed by June 30 — a deadline that has been missed far more often than hit in recent years.
 
Lawmakers gave few details about what issues are at the center of their negotiations, but said a final spending figure had yet to be agreed upon.
 
“It will probably be a few days until we meet with” Corbett, said House Speaker Sam Smith, R-Jefferson, as he left a meeting with GOP House and Senate leaders Wednesday afternoon.
 
State Sen. Pat Browne, R-Lehigh, said the situation was too fluid to make a guess at when the final package might be ready.
 
“We’re still putting together a final amendment that we can present to the governor,” Browne said.
 
Corbett proposed a budget of $27.1 billion in February, but the state Senate upped that total to $27.6 billion with their version of the budget last month. 
 
 
Democrats were shut out of the closed-door meeting, but have been calling for an increase in state spending on public education, higher education and social services at the county level.
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