By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Pennsylvania has begun its second month without a state budget with no end to the impasse in sight.
A negotiating session this past week produced little progress. In fact, the biggest budget-related development involved provocative comments during a Press Club appearance by the House speaker. Republican Mike Turzai not only raised the possibility of an attempt to override Democratic Governor Tom Wolf’s budget veto, but Turzai also dug in on his desire for privatization of liquor sales.
“There won’t be votes for any tax increases if liquor privatization is not part of the mix,” Turzai said.
He also had harsh words for the tax on natural gas drillers that the governor wants.
“We do not need a phony severance tax,” Turzai said, “particularly given that we already have an impact fee.”
But Franklin and Marshall College political analyst Terry Madonna believes it’s unlikely the speech made already hardened positions any harder.
“The speech was clearly a barometer of where things are. Hardened positions – no area for compromise,” Madonna said. ”I mean, the dynamic has been set literally in stone for some time.”
And Madonna sees little chance the stalemate will end soon.