Lawmaker offers Pennsylvania Council of Mediators as a resource
HARRISBURG, March 11 – Pennsylvania budget negotiators would be wise to enlist the help of a mediator to end the eight-month budget stalemate, Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio said during House state budget hearings Thursday.
Her testimony followed three weeks of House Appropriations hearings concerning the 2016-17 budget. The 2015-16 state budget still has not been settled.
“There seems to be agreement that we are in uncharted waters, said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. “Uncharted waters sound exciting and adventurous. I like adventure and excitement in my life. However, a budget, whether state, local or federal, should not be the source for adventure in the lives of our citizens.”
DeLissio first suggested mediation to settle the budget impasse last fall.
“I offered the concept of mediation both then and now because in my career experience, when a negotiation has extended for this period of time, and experienced the ups and downs and twists and turns that have happened over the past eight months and continue today, it is time to take a different approach,” she said. “In fact, in my opinion, it is well past time.
“Mediation is not the admission of weakness or deficiency. It is the recognition that we are in a situation that is unique and without precedent. Regardless of how we got here it is imperative that we find the path forward.
“The Pennsylvania Council of Mediators is one resource for identifying and helping members to understand the benefits of mediation in this particular instance.”