(WHTM) – It’s budget month at the state capitol and the Commonwealth’s spending plan is due June 30, this year money isn’t the issue, but where exactly to spend it is.
The surplus and rainy day funds are flush, billions and billions of dollars just sitting in the state’s coffers.
Republicans want to hold onto it, believing an economic slowdown is inevitable.
Democrats call it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to address long-neglected priorities.
Schools will get more money, but Republicans want it for school choice programs while Democrats want all school programs bolstered, with even more money to fix what they call toxic buildings.
“The school are making the students sick so gotta talk about facilities funding not just in Philadelphia but across the commonwealth have way too many schools that are way past their prime that are not doing right by our young people,” Representative Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia County) said.
Seth Grove, Republican Chair of the Appropriations Committee said, “We would like to see more broad school choice for students who are trapped if you read the judge’s ruling you can clearly see her mentioning students trapped by zip code the only way to do that is addressing school choice.”
Grove was referring to a Commonwealth court ruling saying that Pennsylvania school funding is inequitable and unconstitutional. We’ll see if and how this year’s final budget deals with that.