The 2013 summer break hasn’t been what state lawmakers usually hope for when they head back to their districts. State House members have already returned to the Capitol once, and now they’ll be back for another summer encore on Monday.
The issue bringing lawmakers back to the hill deals with the state Fiscal Code. The state budget was passed and signed on June 30th, but lawmakers left the Fiscal Code unfinished, and since that is the mechanism that gives the state authorization to spend the money in the General Fund budget, it must be passed in order for government operations to continue to run.
Democrats say this delayed action on the Fiscal Code means Governor Tom Corbett and Republican leadership can no longer claim to have passed and signed three consecutive “on-time” budgets, but that argument is largely semantic. The Fiscal Code was held up over last-minute changes involving payday lending statutes and posturing by the House and Senate, which have been at odds over several high-profile issues this year despite both being under the Republican flag.