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RYAN PUSHES FOR FAIR AND OPEN BUDGET PROCESS THIS YEAR

 RYAN PUSHES FOR FAIR AND OPEN BUDGET PROCESS THIS YEAR
 HARRISBURG, Pa., May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- House Democrats once again


are shutting out the voices of millions of taxpayers represented by the 94 Republican members of the House of Representatives, according to House Republican Leader Matthew J. Ryan.
 "I am disgusted, but not surprised, that House Democrat leaders, in light of public outcry against political ploys and partisan maneuvers, would use the same type of parliamentary gimmickry as was demonstrated last year during the budget debacle," Ryan said.
 In a letter dated May 13, Democrat Majority Leader Bill DeWeese advised Ryan that House Democrats will only permit Republicans to offer one amendment to House Bill 2696 -- the Democrat-proposed 1992-93 spending plan -- when the House considers it next Tuesday.
 "I think it's terrible to attempt to govern this Commonwealth through the voice of one party which represents only a portion of the residents. Stifling debate on the most important issue lawmakers contend with each year is a true disservice to Pennsylvanians," said Ryan.
 "I assume the temporary rule change means that rank and file Democrats will also be prevented from offering amendments that would benefit their local communities."
 Last year, House Democrats employed a parliamentary procedure called "moving the previous question" to preclude any Republican input or debate on the 1991-92 state budget.
 "I am outraged by such low tactics when it is clear there is obvious disagreement between the two parties over funding priorities. My Democrat colleagues find it more important to fund welfare programs than to live up to a commitment we made to our local school districts and taxpayers last year in the area of education funding," stressed Ryan.
 "Just last week, upon introduction of House Bill 2696, Mr. DeWeese stated on the floor: 'the debate will be what you have all been asking for and what I personally respond affirmatively toward. It will be a free-wheeling, aggressive, sometimes rancorous debate. I am sure that even moments will come when heat will be turned up high, but nevertheless....the public will get a chance to see the internal aspects of our process....I think that it will be the most open debate in memory.'
 "If passing a temporary rule which only allows our party to offer one amendment is the Democrat leader's idea of 'true democracy' and 'openness' which he touted last week, I am appalled by his thinking. Then again, I suppose in their mind it is a major improvement over their behavior last year when we were totally shut out," he charged.
 House Republicans are especially upset that the House Democrats have joined with Gov. Robert P. Casey in reneging on the Commonwealth's commitment to the state's school children to provide additional subsidy payments totaling $125 million, Ryan said.
 House Democrats have also failed to address the lethal blow dealt to higher education by the governor.
 House Republicans have also expressed disagreement over the Democrat plan to alter contributions to the school employees' retirement fund which will add $11 billion to the tax bill of current and future taxpayers of Pennsylvania.
 "We will be prepared to meet our commitments with a balanced budget amendment which will correct these intolerable and unjustifiable deficiencies advocated by the governor and the House Majority," Ryan said.
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 /CONTACT: Lucy Gnazzo of Rep. Matthew J. Ryan's office, 717-783-8677/ CO: Pennsylvania House of Representatives ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


MK -- PH020 -- 0221 05/14/92 12:09 EDT
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Date:May 14, 1992
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