Last-minute wrangling on Pa. budget measures

    Pennsylvania Senate lawmakers are sending a budget-related bill to the governor’s desk, after a committee went along with a House move to remove Medicaid expansion from the measure.

    Republicans say adding the Medicaid plan back to the bill would have been a wasted effort, since neither the House nor the governor is open to an expansion right now.

    But Sen. Vincent Hughes says he’s disappointed, since the earlier Medicaid expansion language passed in the Senate with bipartisan support.

    “The House said, nope, you’re not going to have it, sent it back to the Senate,” said Hughes, D-Philadelphia. “And our colleagues in the majority chose to essentially back down from what the House decided to do.”

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    The Senate did choose to challenge the House on another budget-related bill over payday lending. The House added the nonbinding language at the last minute to show the Legislature’s “intent” to legalize the high-interest loans.

    The Senate omitted that language, sending the rest of the bill back to the House for a final vote. Republicans and Democrats say the delay in final passage will not slow the implementation of the budget.

    The House is not scheduled to come back to Harrisburg for any voting days until September.

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