Conference Committee to tackle budget

    By: Scott Gilbert

    Pennsylvania’s four-week old budget impasse is about to be in the hands of a conference committee. From Harrisburg, Scott Gilbert explains how this next formal step in the state budget talks will work, or at least how it should work.

    By: Scott Gilbert

    Pennsylvania’s four-week old budget impasse is about to be in the hands of a conference committee.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090722sgconference.mp3]

    On Monday, the Senate is expected to cast a procedural vote that will result in the formation of a conference committee. Steve MacNett, general counsel for the Senate Majority Caucus, says the panel will consist of three House members, two Democrats and one Republican, and three Senate members, two Republicans and one Democrat.

    MacNett says Governor Rendell won’t be left out, even though he’s not formally represented on the committee.

    Macnett: One can assume that consultation with the governor and his senior aides is something that will occur at least informally throughout that process.

    To be reported out of conference committee, a measure must be supported by at least two representatives of each chamber.

    It then goes before the House and the Senate for straight “up” or “down” votes, and cannot be amended. Also, all of the panel’s proceedings are subject to the state’s Sunshine Law.

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