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Offer of Compromise Could Help End Budget Stalemate
The state budget impasse has now stretched to nearly two months, threatening funding for public schools and a wide array of social services targeted to some of Pennsylvania’s neediest citizens. In the absence of any sort of budget counter-proposal from the Wolf Administration since he vetoed the General Assembly’s no-new-tax budget plan in June, legislative leaders recently offered a compromise that could help end this unnecessary stalemate.
The plan would give Governor Wolf the $400 million he requested in new education funding in exchange for comprehensive public employee pension reform to provide long-term savings to school districts and taxpayers. The governor was elected primarily on the promise of new funding for schools, while Republican majorities were elected to ensure any new dollars devoted to education are invested in students, rather than being devoured by increasing pension obligations. This compromise would accomplish the top priority for both parties.
The governor’s response to this offer will help shape the debate in the weeks to come. Accepting this compromise would allow both sides to move forward from two items of contention and help frame the parameters of the budget going forward. Rejecting this offer and failing to propose an acceptable alternative would mean that Governor Wolf is not interested in finding a solution to a crisis of his own creation.
Despite the fact that the Administration has yet to offer a single substantive concession since he first introduced his budget in March, Governor Wolf has repeatedly called for compromise and negotiation. I am hopeful the governor’s actions will match his words so we can finally enact a responsible state budget that meets the needs of Pennsylvanians without burdening them with billions in new taxes.
Local fairs offer a tremendous opportunity to showcase many of the qualities that make our communities unique and special. I enjoyed meeting community residents at the Elizabethtown Fair recently, and I look forward to other upcoming events throughout the region, including the Denver Fair and the Ephrata Fair in September and the New Holland Farmers Fair and the Manheim Farm Show in October.
New Website Offers Road and Bridge Construction Updates
Road and bridge construction projects are underway throughout the region in an effort to repair and replace aging infrastructure. Pennsylvania motorists can now access real-time information on transportation projects that have been completed or scheduled through 2026 at a new website developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
The new website, www.Projects.PennDOT.gov, includes interactive maps and explanations of planned and completed improvements, including construction projects that are underway or will begin this year. The construction section also allows users to learn more about estimated project start and end dates, as well as projects of regional significance along Pennsylvania’s interstate system.
Child Protection Law Seminar Scheduled for September 3
Senate Box 203036