Skip to content

Budget Crunch around the Corner

Primary election week and Memorial Day holiday are traditionally “break weeks” for the General Assembly, and this year was no different. With legislators taking a break from session for the Primary Election and the Memorial Day holiday, this past week, things have been fairly quiet in the state Capitol.

However, with the expected introduction of the House Republican budget proposal on Tuesday (May 28) and public hearings next Thursday on water and sewer infrastructure and transportation funding needs, more attention will be focused on the capitol city.

The General Assembly will return to Harrisburg June 3, and debate on the budget is slated to begin in the House the week of June 10.  The Senate is expected to pass the transportation funding package in early June.  This week, in addition to launching his re-election campaign, Governor Corbett began an outreach effort to get supporters to become more engaged in promoting transportation funding, liquor privatization and pension reform.

Corbett said he had not issued any ultimatums on getting his agenda passed, but he does have the ability to refuse to sign the budget as leverage to get passage of other top issues.

The House is expected to take up three more bills in its Marcellus Shale package (HBs 303, 306 and 308, as well as HB 1171 sponsored by Rep. George Dunbar (R-Westmoreland).  HB 1171 would repeal the Alternative Energy Tax Credit Program.  At least 15 amendments have been filed for consideration when the bill is considered, including provisions to create a solar tax credit, expand tax credits for natural gas driven applications, and creation of additional funding through fees on natural gas drilling.