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CPBJ Extra Blog

Will they or won't they? A fun week at the Capitol

Jason Scott
Jason Scott

The road only gets bumpier from here.

Yes, it's the final week of the 2012-13 fiscal year and state lawmakers are racing against the clock yet again on a new state budget.

The question, as always, is whether or not it will get done on time. I would say no if Gov. Tom Corbett decides that his other major policy objectives — transportation funding, liquor privatization and pension reform — are too important to pass on and he holds up the budget.

At this point, you really have to wonder whether any of the other big policy items will get done.

Transportation funding has already cleared the Senate. But Republican House members have been stumping for prevailing wage reform — a frequent legislative topic every summer — as part of the $2.5 billion transportation bill.

"If there is not a prevailing wage reform component, I think it's going to be very difficult for a transportation package to get the Republican votes necessary to pass the House," Cumberland County Republican Rep. Stephen Bloom said last month.

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa said the same about Democrats if prevailing wage was lumped into the debate.

One of the prevailing wage proposals has called for raising the minimum cost threshold to $100,000 from $25,000 — a number set more than 50 years ago. Other exemptions have been circulating.

How will it play out?

The Corbett administration has said it doesn't want the issues linked, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a carrot dangled if the transportation legislation is to get done. Remember, it's late June. Compromise is the name of the game.

And in case you forgot: Next year is a gubernatorial election. Yes, this is a big week (or summer).

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at You can also follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal.

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