Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Senate Leaders Urge Corbett to Sign Budget

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Senate Leaders Urge Corbett to Sign Budget

Article excerpt

HARRISBURG - State Senate leaders of both parties called Tuesday for Gov. Tom Corbett to sign the state budget as Republicans sent him a companion bill needed to enact the spending.

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, and Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson and Senate president pro tem, noted the budget does not raise taxes. Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D- Forest Hills, said the government is supposed to provide a state budget.

"I strongly encourage the governor to sign the budget as presented to him, to ensure that there is no delay of providing vital government programs and services for Pennsylvania residents," Mr. Scarnati said in a statement.

The Republicans controlling the General Assembly approved a $29.1 billion spending bill in the final hours of June 30, before the start of Pennsylvania's new fiscal year July 1. Mr. Corbett has said he is still considering his options - signing, vetoing or vetoing individual spending lines - ahead of the 10-day deadline, Friday night, at which the legislation would become law without his name.

"I think he should," said Mr. Pileggi, when asked if the governor should sign the bill. "It's a no-tax-increase budget that was delivered on time, the general appropriations bill, and has increases in funding for education, for people who are dependent on government because of intellectual disabilities or other forms of disabilities. That's what the governor has asked for."

Even though Senate Democrats opposed the budget bill and the fiscal code, Mr. Costa also said Mr. Corbett should sign the bill.

"Now that he's got a balanced budget on the table, we think it's appropriate for him to sign it," Mr. Costa said. "While we didn't support it, the product of the General Assembly is what's important here, and we've concluded that process."

House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Marshall, last week called the budget "outstanding" and said, "The budget ought to be signed. …

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