John Baer in Harrisburg reports that Democratic leaders in the state House of Representatives just said that House Bill 1828 – the legislation the city needs to avoid catastrophic budget cuts – will not be voted on next week, but could be voted the week of Labor Day.
Speaker Keith McCall said, "There is support in the (Democratic) caucus for the legislation," but he says the bill is still being analyzed.
Majority Leader Todd Eachus, when pressed on the urgency for the city, said, "We're going to be focusing on the Conference Committee (which is to resume meetings next week)...the state budget is the key issue."
This announcement puts even more pressure on the city's tight time schedule to get this done.
The legislation would allow the city to temporarily raise the sales tax and defer some pension payments. If the state doesn’t approve the city's budget requests -- worth $700 million over five years -- the mayor will have to implement a dire budget that would prompt layoffs of 3,000 city workers.
That budget plan must be submitted to the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority on August 31 and would be implemented in mid-September if there is no action in Harrisburg.