Shale drillers continue to win, kids continue lose

The state budget is now more than two months past due and Republican legislative leaders continue to refuse to engage in honest budget negotiations. They continue to make clear that they put special interests like the drilling industry above our children, our schools and a budget balanced with predictable, long-term funding. It is frustrating to say the least. 

GOP leaders this week again interrupted negotiations to pursue an extension of the budget impasse with a stopgap measure that is nearly identical to the budget Gov. Wolf rightfully vetoed in June. House Republicans plan to push it through next week.  

For months, Gov. Wolf has tried to work with Republicans. Just this week he made significant concessions on agenda items that have little to do with balancing the budget or funding our schools and that Democrats do not favor so that fruitful negotiations could continue.  

But we’ve seen nothing from Republican leaders in return except a refusal to discuss the issues that matter to the people of Pennsylvania: restoring funding to schools with a reasonable extraction tax.  

I wish I had better news regarding the budget. Please be assured that I continue to stand with Gov. Wolf and fight for a budget that properly funds our schools, restores funding for human services and truly fixes the structural deficit. The status quo is unacceptable.