Dush Talks State Budget, Possible ‘Line-By-Line’ Veto Override

988457_753584821384997_7062082584097500863_n[1]BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – Local agencies which rely on state funding are beginning to feel the effects of the state budget stalemate, but on July 28, State Rep. Cris Dush (R-66) told the Jefferson County Commissioners he and fellow house Republicans are planning a “line-by-line override” of Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto as a potential stopgap solution to make sure pressing funding needs are met.

House Republicans and Democrat Wolf have locked horns on the state spending plan since it was due June 30, when Wolf vetoed a GOP-budget.

Dush told Jefferson County Commissioners Paul Corbin, James McIntyre, and Jeffrey Pisarcik the plan for a line-item override of that veto is designed to return state funding to “those agencies who are in the direst straits.”

“We want to put those at the top of the list as we go through the budget line by line,” Dush said.

That begins with human services agencies, such as rape crisis centers, which have already been identified as an urgent need, Dush said.

“We’re trying to make sure they don’t go with a lack of funding. We want to override those line item by line item to get that funding, and that is how we intend to do it without the governor signing off on them,” Dush said.

To override a governor’s veto in Pennsylvania requires a two-thirds “super majority” vote of state house or senate delegates, and the GOP can’t get that done alone. The senate has 49 members, but with 33 required to vote for an override, at least three Democrats would need to agree. In the house, there are 198 representatives, 118 Republicans, and 80 Democrats, and an override would need 132 votes there, meaning at minimum of 14 Democrats must agree with the move.

Line item overrides require the same votes, but members of the state GOP – including Dush – think conservative Democrats will be more likely to agree to the piecemeal moves in order to keep funds flowing to local agencies.

There are 401 budget line items, Dush said, “and on 271 of them, we’ve met the governor or ceded to what he’s requested.”

“It will be separate override votes for each line item, which is why we’re finding out which agencies are most in need and putting them at the top of the list. That way there is pressure there to get to the votes we still need to reach the override point. I think that’s going to happen. It’s sounding encouraging, anyway,” Dush said.

Dush and other Republicans remain hopeful of passing an entire budget soon.

“If we can come to an agreement with (Wolf), we’d love to do it,” Dush said.

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