Friday, September 15, 2017

Charlton takes stand against GOP funding plan

Pennsylvania is now looking into the financial abyss.

There is a very good chance that the state may not be able to pay its bills today.

That is because while legislators have passed a budget, they have yet to come up with a way to pay for it.

This may seem a bit odd since Republicans control both the Senate and House, but the GOP can't even agree among themselves how to pay for the $32 billion spending plan.

The Senate back in July passed a plan that included a host of new taxes, including the state's first ever severance tax on the state's natural gas drillers.

But House GOP leaders, under the leadership of Speaker Rep. Mike Turzai R-Allegheny, continue to resist any new tax hikes. They passed their own plan - by a scant one-vote margin - that would instead raid surplus funds from many state departments, including mass transit.

The measure passed mostly on party lines - with every Democrat in the House voting against.

But a few moderate Republicans voted against this plan, which has been rapped by both Gov. Tom Wolf and Senate Republicans as not doing anything to fix the state's recurring budget problems.

One member of the Delco GOP agrees with them.

Rep. Alex Charlton, R-165, of Springfield, continues to show an independent streak. He voted against the GOP plan, and it's not the first time he's bucked his own party.

Good for him.

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