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Kauffman Joins House Colleagues in Calling for Committee of the Whole to Tackle State Budget
9/10/2009
Committee of the Whole would allow rank-and-file member input in budget process
 
State Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Cumberland/Franklin) today at a press conference at the Capitol joined his colleagues in the House to announce a bipartisan effort to resolve the 72-day late Pennsylvania budget.
 
A resolution, sponsored by Rep. Craig Dally (R-Northampton) proposes to convene a Committee of the Whole, which would hold the House in open session each and every day until the state budget is passed. Informal votes would be taken on the proposals discussed, and any that receive a majority vote will then be recommended to the entire House for formal action.
 
“Day cares, school districts and many social services are being negatively impacted by the ongoing delay in passage of a state budget,” said Kauffman. “This is inexcusable. Up until now, budget negotiations have only been discussed and debated by those in leadership positions with those of us among the rank-and-file sitting on the sidelines waiting for word of consensus. However, by creating a Committee of the Whole, all 203 members of the House of Representatives can have a voice in the budget process and help resolve conflicts that up until now have stalled progress in completing the General Appropriations bill.”
 
The Committee of the Whole process has only been used sparingly in the past for select statewide issues of great concern.
 
“I can think of no better reason to use the Committee of the Whole process than for passage of the state budget,” said Kauffman. “This is a great way for lawmakers to move the process forward and have their concerns and ideas taken into consideration in a final state budget proposal.
 
“The taxpayers of Pennsylvania have a right to expect a state budget to be signed into law by June 30 of each year. The fact that we are more than two months late in making that happen is not only disappointing, but it is a dereliction in duty. By holding a Committee of the Whole, we can stand up as a body and help rectify the situation.”
 
The resolution currently has more than 62 co-sponsors.
 
Rep. Rob Kauffman
89th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
(717) 705-2004
(717) 264-3943
Member Site: RepKauffman.com
Contact: Tricia G. Lehman
(717) 772-9840
Caucus Site: PAHouseGOP.com