Yesterday, the State Senate voted 43–7 to non-concur with the House GOP’s budget revenue plan. The vote to non-concur intensifies the three-month budget stalemate between parties. Now that the House plan was rejected, leaders will have to go back to the drawing board to see how to cobble together the necessary votes to pass a budget revenue bill. The House may decide to tinker with the Senate revenue package, contained in HB 452, which includes the following revenue:
- $571 million in new or increased taxes (which include a severance and gross receipt tax on Marcellus Shale drillers);
- $1.3 billion in borrowing against the Tobacco Settlement Fund;
- $200 million from fund transfers; and
- $200 million from gaming expansion.
Or the House may amend HB 453, which was what the Senate rejected last night. HB 453 contains more than $2.4 billion in funds which come mostly in the form of transfers from various state special funds that, according to the Republicans, who crafted the revenue package, have “inordinately high” account balances.
After non-concurring with the House revenue package, the Senate recessed to the call of the Senate President Pro Tem, which means, members will remain on a six-hour call, ready to return to the Capitol should there be a resolution to the budget situation on which the chamber could vote. The House will return to session on Monday, September 25 at 1:00 pm.