Gainey joins outcry over canceled session during budget impasse

HARRISBURG, Dec. 11 – State Rep. Ed Gainey joined 20 of his House colleagues at a Capitol news conference today to question why House Speaker Mike Turzai canceled a scheduled day of session in the midst of the budget impasse.

"Pennsylvania has been without a state budget for nearly six months," Gainey said. "For nearly six months, our schools and human services agencies have been struggling just to keep their doors open for our children, senior citizens and others. For nearly six months, our residents have been wondering when this impasse would be resolved. Now is not the time for our House speaker to arbitrarily cancel a work day when there is much work to be done."

Senate Bill 1073, a general appropriations bill that contains the spending framework agreed to by Gov. Tom Wolf, House Democrats, Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans, and at least initially by House Republican leaders, passed the Senate in a bipartisan vote on Monday and was received in the House Tuesday. No action has been taken on the bill since that time. On Thursday, the Senate also sent the House other pieces of the budget package for the chamber to consider.

"We have legislation waiting for us to vote on," Gainey said. "Yet, the House speaker decided not to hold session. It's bewildering to me, especially when the impasse is wreaking havoc on social services and schools are considering keeping their doors closed after the holidays. This is the height of irresponsibility."