Toepel and Other Republicans Vote to Support Key Commonwealth Services
8/25/2015
HARRISBURG – Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery) tonight joined her colleagues in a vote to fund vital human services, education, agriculture and health line items of the budget that have remained unfunded since the governor vetoed the state budget in full on June 30.

A governor has not jeopardized critical funding of the Commonwealth by enacting a full budget veto since George Leader in the 1950s. There is no court precedent for conducting an override vote because of the infrequency with which a full veto is enacted. However, while the situation preceding the override votes is unusual and override votes have not been cast previously, that does not make the votes unconstitutional.

“We should not be holding agreed to line items hostage while continuing negotiations. I look forward to voting on an agreed to budget, but in the interim, it is unacceptable to delay funding for rape crisis centers, domestic violence, services for children with special needs, PHEAA grants and pupil transportation,” Toepel said.

As an effect of the governor’s full budget veto, $13 million of state funding has not been released on schedule. Not only is state funding not being passed on to the entities that provide valuable services to the Commonwealth’s neediest constituents, but without a state budget, those entities also are unable to benefit from the federal funding that they typically receive.

“Unfortunately, without receiving any support from our Democratic colleagues today, rape crisis centers, cancer screening services and children with special needs—among many other noble causes—will remain unfunded until the state budget passes,” Toepel said. “To put our residents in the crosshairs of our negotiations is deplorable.”

Had the governor line-item vetoed the budget, rather than vetoing it in its entirety, this funding crisis could have been avoided. Sixty-eight percent of the budget was funded at the level of the governor’s budget or higher, including the line-items we voted on today.

Representative Marcy Toepel
147th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
aevans@pahousegop.com
RepToepel.com / Facebook.com/RepToepel
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