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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 23, 2017 12:15 PM
From: Representative Daniel T. McNeill
To: All House members
Subject: No Budget, No Pay
While state legislators vote on and pass hundreds of bills each legislative session, our primary responsibility is passing a balanced state budget that allows us to pay the bills, fund schools and other services, and meet the needs of Pennsylvanians. Yet the past several budgets have created a nearly $2 billion structural imbalance. Once again, the state is finishing the fiscal year with an unbalanced, inadequate budget that will make the problem even worse. The process is broken and we must take steps to fix it.

That's why I will be introducing legislation that would prohibit state representatives and senators from receiving their salaries or per diems if an annual budget is not completed by June 30 each year. Salaries and per diems would be restored and reimbursed once a budget is passed.

The growing influence of money in Pennsylvania elections -- particularly that of special interests -- has made the wealthiest voices the loudest and the ones with the most influence and access to government officials in Harrisburg. The extent to which these powerful and influential special interests have become entrenched in Pennsylvania politics is one of the primary reasons for the inability to reach a solution to our historic structural budget deficit.

Withholding salaries and per diems from legislators when there is no state budget in place would both incentivize legislators to move the budget process forward, and also remind us of who really pays the bills, and who we truly work for. Both would lead to more meaningful negotiations and genuine compromise to get a balanced budget done on time.

Please consider joining me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.