Authors Posts by Jack Phillips

Jack Phillips

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Mr. Phillips is responsible to assist the association with health policy, which primarily includes member communication and advocacy with the Governor’s office, General Assembly, and state regulatory agencies. Mr. Phillips was most recently at the Pennsylvania Department of State as Director of Legislative Affairs.

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Over the weekend, the House failed to pass SB 1071, which is the hybrid pension bill, by a vote of 52/149 with no support from the Democratic Caucus and over 60 Republicans. After the vote, numerous meetings were held among leadership. Once the meetings concluded, the House floated the possibility of forging ahead with some type of stopgap measure that would fund education and human services. However, the governor and Senate leadership indicated that a stopgap budget was a non-starter.

House Republican leaders told Governor Wolf he has 24 hours to prove that he has enough votes in the House to pass a spending and tax proposal he supports. If he cannot show he has the votes, House Republican leadership said they will propose a stopgap funding bill to end the state government’s five-and-a-half month budget stalemate.

According to House Majority Leader Dave Reed, he wants to hold final votes this weekend. As of today, the governor, both caucuses in the Senate, as well as House Democrats, support the $30.8 billion budget as well as the $1 billion-plus tax plan. The House Republican majority wants a pared down $30.2 billion budget which would include smaller spending and tax increases.

It should be an interesting day at the Capitol. The governor must have all 83 (Rep. Louise Bishop resigned on Wednesday) of the House Democrat Caucus be in favor of the budget – to date, not all members of the Democrat Caucus have supported the governor’s budget proposal. In addition, the governor would have to pick up between 20 and 30 Republican votes, depending on whether members of his own caucus go against him.

Stay tuned! RCPA will continue to provide updates on the budget. RCPA encourages members to continue to contact the governor and state legislators to inform them why it’s necessary for them to pass a state budget sooner rather than later. Questions, contact Jack Phillips.

This article from Capitolwire is a good and extensive overview of what is going on with the budget here in Harrisburg. Health and Human service budget line items are still fluid until the House and Senate negotiate a final budget deal. RCPA will provide updates on any budget deal, and RCPA encourages members to continue to contact the governor and state legislators to inform them why it’s necessary for them to pass a state budget sooner rather than later. Questions, contact Jack Phillips.