Greased Palms Caused Vote Switch Says Senator — Once again it appears that a victory for working families has been snatched away by the special interests. The Pennsylvania House, today, Dec.22, voted 100-99 to reconsider the state budget the Senate passed earlier this month and which appeared dead after the House rejected, Saturday, a pension reform plan that was part of the deal.
All Democrats voted for the budget along with 17 Republicans including Steve Barrar (160), Nick Miccarelli (162) and Jamie Santora (163) whose districts include Delaware County.
The budget will require a significant tax hike to balance.
Sen. Scott Wagner baldly says the GOP reps got their “palms greased”. It also should be noted that it appears several Democrat reps cast yea votes despite not being physically present. He also says the mild pension reform that was the subject of Saturday’s fuss is not now included in the deal.
Here is his email report:
The purpose of my email is to report that the PA House of Representatives cast several votes today to advance the stalled PA Budget.
The votes cast today set the stage for a budget vote tomorrow in the House for a budget of $30.788 Billion Dollars for 2015-16 year, an increase of $1.597 Billion Dollars over the 2014-15 budget of $29.191 Billion Dollars.
If the House votes the $30.788 Billion Dollar budget tomorrow for 2015-16 here is the best part – the House and Senate will have to consider a tax increase vote in early January.
You can’t make this stuff up – vote for a spending plan without knowing how you are going to pay for it !!
How else do I say this?
Corruption is alive and well in Harrisburg.
Today I sat in the House of Representatives gallery and watched the House in action.
What is puzzling to me is that PA House Democrat Member Leslie Acosta who represents Philadelphia County was absent from the House chamber and is allegedly in Nicaragua – but she voted “yes” on a motion to revert to a prior printer bill at 1:04 PM today.
Another House Member Democrat Peter Daley from Washington County was also absent from the floor but voted “yes” on the same motion to revert to a prior printer number – his vote was also at 1:04PM.
Republican House Member Daryl Metcalfe questioned accountability and procedure on whether a member had to be present to vote.
On a final vote cast at 4:03PM Representatives Acosta and Daley were listed as absent.
Something smells like rotten fish – the best part was that I was sitting in the House Gallery watching the action go down.
I estimate that tomorrow approximately seventeen Republicans will vote for the increased budget along with the Democrats – how is this happening?
Here is the answer – House Democrats and the Governor’s office are promising special project money for the districts of the Republicans voting “yes” for the budget.
It was pointed out to me that one Republican House member is receiving several million dollars in special project money for his “yes” vote – these type of deals are taking place in Harrisburg.
So it is safe to assume that other Republicans are getting their palms greased for their “yes” votes.
In my private sector business world if I paid a municipal official to influence their vote for a waste contract with my company would I be breaking any laws?
And by the way, the pension reform bill the PA State Senate sent over to the House was voted down this past Saturday – so here it is – No Pension Reform – and the best part – Holiday Tax increases for everyone.
In closing, tomorrow will be very interesting to watch how the House members vote on the budget – keep in mind some type of tax increases are coming down the road for Pennsylvanians.
I will do an email blast tomorrow with an update.
Sen Scott Wagner (R-28)