More than three months and counting. That’s how long we have gone without a new state budget in place.
In Harrisburg, state lawmakers continue to be at odds over how best to complete the budget process.
In recent days, Penn State has stepped up its lobbying of state legislators to approve their state appropriation funding, hundreds of millions of dollars, that was due to be in place by the first of July.
Although it’s a separate appropriation, Penn State’s funding is just one of the issues still unresolved in the state budget process.
$45.5 billion of the budget has been approved and signed by the governor, but there are still disputes over parts of the fiscal code that specifically authorizes over how a billion dollars would be spent.
On Tuesday night, House Democrats approved changes to the state’s tax code, some of which were supported by Republicans.
The Democrats call it a step in the right direction in the budget logjam, but Republican leadership disagrees, saying it doesn’t directly address the required remaining legislation.
“We are now 96 days into the fiscal year without a completed budget. One point one billion dollars in money that has been appropriated, cannot be spent. We’re putting our courts, our hospitals, even our 911 system in jeopardy. Democrats refuse to work across the aisle with us and senate Republicans to try and break the logjam.”
For Penn State, $259 million is expected in the overdue state appropriation.
The funding delay has already meant a delay in some university employees’ pay raises.
The university says contingency plans include further delays in spending in critical areas.