PA House and Senate: Progress reported
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A spokesman says Pennsylvania House Republican leaders will decide when to bring rank-and-file members back to Harrisburg after senators stripped a provision from a budget-related bill that they say the House inserted without their approval. The Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to send the bill back to the House after stripping out a provision that suggests House and Senate Republican leaders support the legalization of high-interest “payday” loans in Pennsylvania.
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi says the statement is simply inaccurate and doesn’t belong in legislation. Many consumer groups oppose payday lending. House GOP spokesman Steve Miskin says he doesn’t know who inserted the provision. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a lobbyist for one payday lender organized a golf-outing fundraiser in February for House Speaker Sam Smith in Pebble Beach, Calif.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania’s Senate majority leader says Gov. Tom Corbett would veto a bill requiring him to seek federal approval for an expansion of Medicaid eligibility. Sen. Dominic Pileggi made the comments Wednesday before the Senate voted along party lines against it. Democrats spoke angrily on the Senate floor about the move, calling it hypocritical.
Senators overwhelmingly approved the provision in budget-related legislation Sunday night in an effort to force the House and the Republican governor to support it. But House Republicans stripped it out two days ago, saying it would improperly force the governor’s hand. Pileggi says the budget-related bill can’t wait because it also seeks $1 billion in federal hospital aid. Expanding Medicaid under a 2010 federal health care law would extend coverage to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians.