HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania heads into its second month
without a budget and state spending authority, but a solution to the impasse is
not in sight.
Although the Democratic governor and Republican state legislative
leaders have had meetings during July, they are still taking occasional pot
shots at each other in the press.
Hopes rose that a compromise agreement could be reached in
late July when the governor’s chief of staff Katie McGinty resigned to pursue
the nomination for Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator. McGinty had been seen
by Republican leaders as confrontational and resolute in defending the governor’s’
budget proposals. But her absence has produced no new proposals for a
Pressure Will Build
Pressure will build as state contractors and vendors continue
not to be paid. School districts, which must have their budgets solidified by the
start of the new school year, also will help to ratchet up pressure on both
sides to find a common path to a spending plan.
The record for Pennsylvania being without state spending authority
was set under Governor Rendell in 2009, when it took until October 9 to secure a
state budget. Could this year set a new record?