Boyle to re-introduce legislation to prevent future Pa. budget delays
HARRISBURG, July 27 – As Pennsylvania deals with yet another frustrating budget impasse, state Rep. Kevin Boyle is looking forward, seeking ways to prevent the commonwealth from finding itself in a similar situation in the very near future.
Boyle, D-Phila./Montgomery, plans on re-introducing a proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution, requiring the General Assembly to stay in session until a state budget is adopted by both the Senate and the House of Representatives as well as signed into law by the governor.
“As legislators, we owe it to our constituents to conduct the people's business without needless delays and to concentrate on passing a responsible, complete, and balanced budget for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians,” Boyle said.
For this legislation to be added to the state Constitution, the bill would have to be voted and passed in two consecutive legislative sessions and then go to Pennsylvania voters in the form of a ballot question.
“We are only one year removed from the historical 2015-2016 budget stalemate that lasted nearly nine months from July 2015 to March 2016,” Boyle said. “It appears the General Assembly hasn’t learned its lesson.”
Boyle said it’s been three weeks since the start of the fiscal year and Republican House Speaker Mike Turzai has continued pushing for irresponsible funding schemes, which, in turn, has prevented the rest of the representatives from formulating a feasible plan to bring in sustainable revenue to pay for the budget.
Democrats have offered reliable options for collecting stable revenue for the state:
A severance tax on natural gas extraction, like every other major natural gas-producing state collects.
Eliminating tax loopholes so corporations cannot avoid their fair share and force families or small businesses to pay more.
Raising the minimum wage so that workers earn more and state tax revenues can grow with to those higher incomes -- without a tax increase.
“House Democrats are ready to put a responsible plan in place,” Boyle said. “Now, we just need the GOP to be on board so we can get the job done for the people we serve.”
This bill is expected to be referred to the House Appropriations Committee.