Let the games begin.
The deadline to sign a new budget is midnight on Tuesday, June 30th and we look set to zoom right by it.
Governor Wolf has some grand goals, including restructuring the tax code (income and sales taxes would go up while property taxes would go down) as well adding a severance tax on natural gas drilling in order to improve school funding.
Republicans in the legislature, however, still dream of what they couldn’t achieve in the Corbett Administration, like pension reform and privatizing the state liquor business.
Wolf believes his ten-point victory in the midst of a GOP wave earned him a mandate. Legislative Republicans feel that GOP wave, and their contributions to it, prove Wolf’s win was a fluke (caused by Corbett’s exceptionally awful political skills) and that the state still values conservative priorities.
“Ray Charles could see this one…back in November,” Sen. Vincent Hughes put it perfectly.
We’ve only just recently gotten to the point where both sides are making their first moves.
On Saturday, the House Republicans passed a $30.1 billion budget filled with solely their own priorities.
The day before, Gov. Wolf pre-empted their effort by pledging to veto this budget if it passes the Senate on Tuesday.
To make a long story short: It’s going to be a long, long summer. We’ll make sure, though, to keep you updated as events progress.