Republicans should end the obstruction and join us

Budget work is done, but much work remains

This week the General Assembly completed work on the 2016-17 state budget by ensuring the revenues necessary to fund crucial investments in education at all levels, combat the state’s opioid addiction crisis and, equally important, to avoid another damaging and expensive impasse for county agencies, schools and nonprofits.

House Democrats and Gov. Wolf fought for that and for the bipartisan negotiations that got this budget to the finish line.

Over the past 18 months the Republican budget approach was to delay, obstruct and ignore the steps necessary to solve the significant long-term fiscal problems our state faces. House Democrats’ determined opposition to that tactic forced Republicans to let go of their extreme agenda and agree to a budget that allows Pennsylvania to remain functional.  

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania still faces a significant structural deficit that, if not addressed, threatens the very things House Democrats are fighting to rebuild – a state where education, the economy, businesses and working families can succeed.

Wall Street remains concerned about the Republicans' preference for budgets that are funded too much with one-time revenues, short-term fixes and accounting gimmicks rather than recurring, sustainable revenues that grow with the economy.

Much work remains. House Democrats will continue fighting for sustainable budgets and to enact policies that grow the economy while helping working families: policies such as paid sick and family leave, an adequate minimum wage, equal pay, and legal protections that are fair to all individuals.  

Republicans should end the obstruction and join us. Or they'll have to spend the next several months explaining why they won't.