Longietti: Speaker needs to return House to session to finalize budget

HARRISBURG, Dec. 10 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, called on House Speaker Mike Turzai to immediately return the House to session in order to finalize work on a state budget. Longietti issued the following statement after the speaker unexpectedly adjourned the House until noon Saturday:

“It is unfathomable to me that Speaker Turzai would adjourn the House when senior centers are closed, nonprofits have laid off employees and suspended services, and schools are considering closing their doors because a state budget has not been adopted.

“Several months ago in a speech on the House floor, I called on Speaker Turzai to keep the House in session every day until a budget is passed. Adjourning the House only further delays a state budget that is long overdue. I want my constituents to know that I am doing everything that I can to get a responsible budget done now, and that I will remain in Harrisburg despite the irresponsible actions of the speaker.

“About one month ago, legislative leaders from all parties and Governor Tom Wolf agreed upon a budget framework that restored some of the funding cut from public education and social services during the previous administration, while putting Pennsylvania on a path toward fiscal stability. Recently, however, Speaker Turzai has walked away from that agreement and the remaining parties, including his fellow Republicans in the Senate, have called him back to the table to finalize the finer parts of that budget framework agreement.

“Speaker Turzai needs to keep the House in session, return to the budget framework he previously agreed to and allow a responsible state budget to be finalized now. Pennsylvania cannot afford further delay.”