Neilson, Driscoll blast canceled session during budget impasse

HARRISBURG, Dec. 23 – State Reps. Ed Neilson and Mike Driscoll, both D-Phila., questioned today’s move by Republican House leaders to adjourn without taking up a bill that would end the nearly six-month state budget impasse.

“I don’t understand why we aren’t in session right now voting on a budget compromise that has been largely agreed to by all parties involved,” Neilson said. “We were supposed to be in session on Sunday, but Republican leaders canceled it. We were supposed to be in session on Monday, but Republican leaders canceled it. Now, I have to return to Northeast Philadelphia and tell my neighbors that, because of the unwillingness of a few, the state will continue to be unable to fund counties, human service providers and nonprofits. The Philadelphia School District is just weeks away from being unable to open their doors and they try to pull this. It’s nothing but nonsense.”

Senate Bill 1073, a General Appropriations bill that reflects the spending framework agreed to by Gov. Tom Wolf, House Democrats, Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans, passed the House yesterday on second consideration and was scheduled to receive its third and final consideration today, but the chamber’s GOP speaker abruptly canceled session.

“This move to adjourn pulled by House Republican leaders is an unconscionable decision, especially as many individuals across this commonwealth are suffering because of this extended budget impasse,” Driscoll said. “Now, House Republicans are on their way out the door to celebrate Christmas with their families and we don’t even know when we will next be reconvening in legislative session. I urge my Republican colleagues in the House to turn around, reconvene session immediately and get this thing done for the people of this commonwealth.”