What Is Harrisburg Up To On City Budget Issues?

So as the city starts preparing for massive cuts and layoffs, what’s going on in Harrisburg? As you probably know, Philly is still waiting to see if legislators will approve budget relief for the city in time to avoid the “Plan C” budget.

We spoke yesterday with Johnna Pro, a spokeswoman for state Rep. Dwight Evans, who said House Democratic leaders and staff spent the Labor Day weekend negotiating with Senate Republicans. The Senate Republicans passed House Bill 1828, which was originally written to deal only with Philadelphia issues, on Aug. 26 after adding sweeping changes to pension plans across the state. That drew rebukes from union leaders, who protested yesterday in the state Capitol.

Pro said separate legislation already exists for the pension reform demanded by Senate Republicans but they chose to combine the issues.

“So it has morphed into this bill that quite frankly became unrecognizable,” she said. “It just became obvious that we needed to slow this train down.”

The House now has three options: Find a compromise with the Senate on the pension issues, strip out the Republican amendments and send it back to the Senate for another vote or hold a vote on the bill as amended. Pro predicted the legislation as currently written would not be approved by the House.

We'll keep you posted as we know more...