James Votes for Emergency State Funding Bill - Legislation heads to governor for consideration
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Lee James (R-Venango/Butler) today voted in Harrisburg for an emergency state funding bill that was approved by the state House and would release money that has been bottled up since the governor vetoed a full spending plan more than two months ago.

“We have students, rape crisis centers and many Pennsylvanians in need who are waiting for this money,” said James. “We want to work with the governor to release the funds for important programs and services. We hope he will sign this emergency state funding bill into law while continuing to negotiate a long-term budget agreement.”

Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed the balanced, on-time state budget that was approved by the General Assembly in June. That budget called for no new or increased taxes.

Wolf continues to call for nearly $5 billion in tax increases this year and an additional $8 billion in tax hikes next year.

He proposed an increase in the state Personal Income Tax and a hike in the state sales tax. He also wants to apply the sales tax to more goods and services.

“The governor refused to sign a budget that spent money the Commonwealth has because he is focused on spending money Pennsylvania does not have,” said James. “The major sticking point holding up a budget agreement is the governor’s tax hikes. We passed a budget in June that invested in education, funded the core functions of government and wouldn’t have harmed taxpayers. The governor vetoed the entire thing in an effort to push for higher taxes.”

The emergency state funding bill would provide approximately one-third of the annual funding for most state government programs and services. This would enable schools, government agencies and human service providers to continue operating while lawmakers finalize a full state budget agreement.

The bill approved today by the House includes no new or increased taxes.

The emergency state funding bill now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law or vetoed.

The governor also has the authority to approve some appropriations in the emergency state funding bill while vetoing others.

“The governor has a choice to make,” said James. “He can approve the appropriations he supports while vetoing the ones he opposes, he can approve everything in the bill or he can veto the entire bill and withhold funding for all of these people in need. We certainly hope he will release the funding for schools, college students and other policy initiatives that have broad, bipartisan support.”

Residents can learn more about James by visiting his website at RepJames.com  and following him on Facebook at Facebook.com/RepJames.

Representative Lee James
64th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Dan Massing
RepJames.com / Facebook.com/RepLeeJames
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