PA-BGT: Don’t Expect a Budget This Week

wolf-budget addressAt this rate, the state budget may not be passed before PA schools are back in session, with school funding at the center of the storm in Harrisburg.

Relations between Gov. Tom Wolf’s office and GOP legislative leaders are being strained to the breaking point, two weeks after Wolf vetoed a GOP-passed budget, leaving the state to enter the new fiscal year without a taxing and spending plan.

On Monday, Wolf took his “Schools that Teach” tour to the home districts of Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and Republican House Speaker Mike Turzai, both Republicans. While not an unusual move from a Governor, Wolf did not extend an invitation to either legislator, leaving discussions on the edge of turning sour.

Monday morning, Wolf held a seemingly fruitless meeting with GOP President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati.

“I want to have a conversation,” Wolf told reporters outside. “I want to move beyond the posturing that these meetings have been and get into actually some substantive conversations.”

Since rejecting the GOP’s budget, Wolf has also vetoed the GOP’s pension reform and liquor privatization bills, which punched major holes in most GOP budget proposals.

Wolf’s Communications Director Mark Nicastre has accused the GOP of “arbitrarily” adjusting revenue and spending estimates and said its budget “ignores actual costs” after slashing spending by $48 million to make the numbers balance.

The previous fiscal year, which finished June 30, ended with something of a surplus – $600 million over estimates set during the budgeting process last June. All parties involved in the budget agree the state collected $30.6 billion in revenue the last fiscal year, but not much else.

As the old adage goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own set of facts. Nothing will happen until the Governor’s office and Republican leaders can agree on the numbers that go into the budget.

3 Responses

  1. Scarnati , Gabler, and Sankey all sent mail bombing attacking the Governor last week in Western Pennsylvania. The Governor is responding to those mailers. Governor Wolf will not let the Republcans control the narrative to the public on the budget . Pennsylvania Children and Taxpayers can not afford another Smoke and Mirror Budget that has been proposed by the GOP.

  2. Why does Gov Wolf think that mail bombing Southeastern PA with 8×10 glossy propaganda pieces targeting Legislative Republicans and paid for by some Washington Lobbyist group will be effective? Is this that “new kind of politics” we were all promised?

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