HARRISBURG –Rep. Jill Cooper (R-Westmoreland) will soon introduce legislation that would suspend compensation to state officials when Harrisburg fails to pass a budget before July 1.
“Responsible budgeting is Government 101. Harrisburg has its core services and functions and when we don’t have a budget in place to begin a fiscal year, those services, such as programs for special needs populations, education and food banks, are at risk of being disrupted,” Cooper said. “Pennsylvanians deserve better than an inexcusable process that hurts our most vulnerable populations, while legislators continue to be fully compensated.”
After negotiations on a budget plan fell through between majority parties in the House and Senate, as well as Gov. Josh Shapiro, neither chamber is scheduled to return to Harrisburg until September. However, leaders can call members back early if a plan is negotiated. Cooper is one of 12 House members who have not accepted their salaries for July and currently, one of two committed to the same in August.
Cooper’s bill provides that compensation of the governor, lieutenant governor and members of the General Assembly would be suspended during a budget impasse.
“My motivation is simple; right now, we have a missed deadline, and worse yet, there seems to be a lack of urgency to complete the job as soon as possible,” said Cooper. “Workers across the state, whose taxes actually pay our salaries, would have been fired for the same behaviors.”
The 55th Legislative District includes the cities of Arnold, Lower Burrell (part) and New Kensington; the townships of Bell, Derry (part), Loyalhanna, Salem, Upper Burrell and Washington; the boroughs of Avonmore, Delmont, Export, New Alexandria and Oklahoma; and the Municipality of Murrysville.
Representative Jill Cooper
55th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jordan Frei