HARRISBURG – Senator Scott Martin (R-13) issued the following statement today regarding the state of budget negotiations:
“Let’s be crystal clear about what transpired over the past several weeks. We negotiated and reached an agreement with Governor Shapiro. He absolutely understood the House Democrats were not serious parties to budget negotiations as their demands kept going higher each time, with their last demand being $750 million more above the spend number. The Governor actually met with the House Majority Leader to inform him he and his team would negotiate directly with the Senate Republicans to get the final deal. Governor Shapiro’s responsibility was to get House Democrats on board with the deal he negotiated. He failed spectacularly, and he gutted our agreement. He took the first escape hatch he could find to avoid taking the blame for his failure to lead.
“It is unconscionable that the governor backed out of our negotiated agreement and failed to deliver on his promise to support PASS scholarships to help some of the most vulnerable kids in the Commonwealth. Ultimately, it is the students and their families who are trapped in failing schools, schools where we spend the most money already, that will suffer because of his decision. Trust matters in Harrisburg, so the governor abusing our good faith will certainly impact our ability to negotiate going forward. It’s worth noting that the budget process is far from complete. I would expect the full Senate to return to session only once the final components of the budget are complete, especially since PASS Scholarships are far from being the only thing in the budget code bills needing enabling legislation in order for budget appropriations to be spent.”
CONTACT: Jason Thompson