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Senate called back for budget’s final lap

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(The Center Square) – The state Senate will return to Harrisburg later this month to finalize crucial pieces of the budget, according to Republican leadership.

Senate President Kim Ward, R-Greensburg, called session for Aug. 30 – two months past the start of the new fiscal year – to finalize code bills, which serve as the blueprint for how to spend money earmarked in the $45.5 billion budget itself.

In a statement, Ward said she hopes the lower chamber will reconsider their Sept. 26 session date.

House leadership said there’s no plans to reconvene early, however, negotiations continue.

“The House plans to return to session on Tuesday, Sept. 26, but we are not foreclosing on the possibility that we may return sooner if an agreement is reached,” said Nicole Reigelman, spokeswoman for House Speaker Joanna McClinton, D-Philadelphia.

Programs impacted by the code bills include school tax credits, a transfer to the state’s savings account, federally-funded mental health grants, additional funding for public schools, teacher stipends and hospital and health care relief, among others.

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