HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — State lawmakers will be back in session on Wednesday, July 5, to work on a budget.
They left for the long holiday weekend without a deal in place by the June 30 deadline.
Both the House and Senate have passed budget bills, but the problem is those budgets are about a billion dollars apart.
Democrats in the House want a minimum wage increase, something Republicans have resisted for more than a decade. However, the biggest roadblock is over education. Specifically, a form of school vouchers that would allow parents to send their kids to private or parochial schools instead of the state’s lowest-performing public schools.
Those vouchers are included in the Senate’s budget package and Governor Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, supports them. But House Democrats strongly oppose them and it’s likely going to take some kind of compromise to break the logjam.
“We funded Level Up, we funded Whole Home Repairs, those are initiatives that our caucus is not entirely supportive of, not entirely comfortable with, but we gave,” said Majority Leader Sen. Joe Pittman (R).
“Is that Senate budget unacceptable? It certainly did not fulfill what the House Democratic had in terms of priorities,” said Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-Philadelphia).
The House is scheduled to return to session on Wednesday at noon. As of now, the Senate has no session days on the calendar for this week, but it’s expected that senators will to come back to Harrisburg whenever a final budget deal is hammered out.