Harrisburg, Sept. 18, 2015 – State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) today gave the following statement after the party-line Senate vote in favor of the Republican’s so-called stopgap budget measure. Fontana voted against the legislation.

“I’m disgusted by this wasteful, senseless, dead-in-the-water Republican public relations stunt and the citizens of Pennsylvania should be too,” Fontana said. “Republican leaders already knew their political ploy would be rejected and vetoed by the governor, yet they persisted with this legislative fiasco that wasted time and taxpayer money.

They’re fooling no one. This stopgap proposal is nothing more than a piecemeal version of the unbalanced, underfunded and irresponsible spending proposal that Republicans attempted to saddle our state with months ago. A third of something that doesn’t add up – still doesn’t add up.

Instead of negotiating in good faith, Republican leaders have produced and touted a ‘stopgap’ with gaps in it. This stopgap is merely a means to avoid getting to a real budget resolution. This exercise is void of our constitutional responsibility.

Senate Democrats and our governor are willing to negotiate. But we will not allow Republicans to continue shortchanging our kids. We will not allow the Republicans to persist with discarded Corbett-era budgets that were underfunded and left us with annual deficits. We will not stand by and watch our schools, social service organizations and other worthwhile programs and services whither — especially while our counterparts continue along in their sweetheart arrangement with the gas drilling industry.

The state budget should have been finalized in July. It’s time for meaningless gestures and political stunts to stop and for both sides to sit down and strike a fair, rational and conclusive agreement.”

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