House Passes Republican Spending Plan

After nearly five hours of debate, the state house has approved a 28.3 billion dollar Republican spending plan.  The 108 to 92 vote came along party lines.

Education was a main theme as members rose to speak about the proposed General fund budget.   Republicans say it increases spending for education.  Democrats say it does not come close to restoring the cuts of the last two years.

House majority leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) called the spending plan responsible, compassionate, caring and fiscal stewardship. He says it recognizes we have to live within our means.

House minority leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny) says the budget once again turns its back on our children.  He says schools have been forced to slash the most fundamental tools for educating our children; teachers and books.  He called it unconscionable and shameful.

The measure now goes to the senate.  A spokesman for the majority leader says they’ll continue working with the House and Governor Tom Corbett to reach an agreement on next year’s budget.  They’re confident the work will be completed by June 30th.  The Senate is expected to take up budget-related bills the week of June 24th.