PA House Democrats reject a leaner GOP spending plan
Tuesday, June 9th, 2009
Voting along party lines, the Pennsylvania 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 said the meeting was nothing more than political theater, and said Democrats haven't come up with any alternatives to the GOP spending plan.
Civera: 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 Governor Rendell is expected to make to his $28.9 billion spending plan.
Lawmakers have until June 30th to cut a deal, though it's been years since a budget was finished by the official deadline.