Monday, September 28, 2015

Progress on the budget ??

While it is hard to read the tea leaves from the second round of state budget talkson Monday, some might find reason to think that the sides may be picking up intensity in their quest to end the budget impasse in its 90th day on Monday.

House Republican leaders left that meeting sounding somewhat optimistic that some common ground could be found with the Democratic administration on some of the spending and revenue number that serve as a building block for a finalized budget.

They initially planned to meet for a third time Monday with their Senate Republican and House and Senate Democratic counterparts and Gov. Tom Wolf after first meeting earlier in the day but instead, that meeting got pushed off until Tuesday. 

House Majority Leader Dave Reed, R-Indiana, said, "We'd like to try to get a budget done sooner rather than later. ... Maybe we'll find some common ground, that would be a positive."

Wolf also played coy in discussing with reporters about the amount of progress made in his closed-door meetings with legislative leaders. He said he didn't want to sound like the eternal optimist but "we're working and I think very seriously."

Despite that optimism, Wolf made it clear in no uncertain terms the GOP-backed stopgap budget bill that the House and Senate passed over the last two weeks is dead on arrival.

"I want to keep the pressure up. Pennsylvanians want a budget. That's what I want. I don't want a stopgap," Wolf said in the above video.

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