Snyder votes to end protracted 2015-16 budget stalemate

‘Saga must end’ with only 3 months left in current fiscal year

HARRISBURG, March 16 – Saying the specter of closed schools and crippled human services must not come to fruition, state Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, voted for a budget bill put forth by the Republican legislative majority today.

Snyder said that with only three months left in the current fiscal year, and with budget wrangling between GOP leaders and Gov. Tom Wolf still ongoing after nine months, it’s time to wrap up the tumultuous 2015-16 budget and start focusing on the 2016-17 spending plan due June 30.

"We’re able to put this one to bed without raising taxes – and still get an extra $50 million for basic education, pushing that total fiscal-year increase to $200 million," said Snyder of her affirmative vote for H.B. 1801. "I don’t want to see schools close, I want to see human services and 4-H funded, I don’t want to further put our Penn State Extension Services and county commissioners in fiscal predicaments.

"Certainly, I would like to see more state funding for basic education. But when it looks like there’s a greater chance of public schools closing their doors than getting more money, we’ve got to acknowledge the reality of the situation and act accordingly. After nine months, this saga must end."

Snyder said a constant theme as she’s traversed the 50th Legislative District is resolving the budget impasse and the adverse impact the inability to strike a lasting deal has wrought on many layers of government services.

As an elected official, Snyder said she has to balance what is desired against what is possible, and in this case Republican dominance of the House and Senate tilted the scale toward voting for a budget bill that while not ideal at least stood a chance of legislative approval.

"With this one behind us, let’s start working on next year’s budget now, so we’re not wasting time," Snyder said.

In a series of separate votes Wednesday, Snyder also voted for bills to fund non-preferred institutions of higher education, including Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh.