Could We Have An On-Time Budget?

pa-state-capitol-b175d9a07740ecf3It doesn’t have to be pretty, just so long as the job gets done. That seems to be the attitude of Gov. Corbett and the legislature as they near the budget deadline.

With midnight Monday fast approaching, it appears the three branches might be close to a deal.

After the House passed their plan on Friday, the Senate is finalizing their own bill and the two could be reconciled on Sunday night or Monday. The process may be finished in time for the Governor to sign a budget by the close of business on Monday.

At the outset, Governor Corbett indicated that he wouldn’t accept any new taxes until pension reform and liquor privatization were dealt with. A problem emerged, though, as it appeared neither of those initiatives had enough support and the commonwealth had a significant revenue shortfall that needed to be filled.

The GOP and Democrats initially tried to fill the gap with taxes on cigarettes and maybe even on natural gas drillers but the Republicans abandoned that track and are seeking to cobble together one-time cash items to get the numbers to balance.

Marc Levy of the Associated Press went as so far as to call this action “the big gimmick.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Corbett and his campaign are alleging that Tom Wolf and Katie McGinty are pushing Democrats to oppose the budget.

“It appears that millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf’s hypocrisy has no end,” said Corbett-Cawley Communications Director Chris Pack. “Secretary Tom Wolf has repeatedly claimed that he’s not a politician, but he’s engaging in the most cynical of political actions – lobbying the General Assembly to blindly oppose Governor Corbett solely for political purposes.”

This political line of attack might not work, however, as Republicans control the Governor’s Mansion, the House and the Senate, so they are likely to receive all the credit or blame.

Nevertheless, it appears we just may have an on-time budget this week.

4 thoughts on “Could We Have An On-Time Budget?

  1. So what you’re saying is the Republican legislature could adopt a lousy budget (written by Republicans) on time if there is a last-minute miracle consisting of the Republicans agreeing with the Republicans. And if it doesn’t happen, the Republicans say it would be Tom Wolf’s fault.

    But what really matters, of course, is Joe Paterno.

  2. A valiant effort from Corbett’s team trying to cover up his poisoning the well with House and Senate Rs from day one by trying to order them around instead of treating them like the constitutional co-equal partners in government that they are. It’s an open secret that they can’t stand him. And Marc Levy is spot on – this budget is the biggest gimmick there is: there’s zero sustainability. They’ve raided every last dedicated fund they can to throw it in the General Assembly to the detriment of many vital programs and the public’s trust in government. Of course, that’s so many Republicans’ M.O.: they run on how terrible and inefficient government is and then they go in there and muck things up to make sure that self-fulfilling prophecy remains self-fulfilling. It’s why they don’t care about shutting down the government on the federal level, mindlessly supporting liquor privatization without replacing the revenue, bluntly slashing funding without taking into consideration the long-term cost-benefit of programs, etc. etc. etc.

    Of course, it’s pretty obvious they see the writing on the wall and figure a no-tax increase budget might help their chances, but if not, they get to kick that rusty, spiked can at Tom Wolf – another Republican win-win that’s a lose-lose for everyone else.

  3. The Republicans have control of all branches of the state government. Painting this as Democrats causing the problem is even a stretch for liars like Gov Crooked’s staff. They created this mess by starving state revenue and refusing to expand Medicaid. This is all theirs. They own it.

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