On the eve of his second budget address, Gov. Tom Wolf is ready reiterate his demands from last year.
On Tuesday, the second-year Democrat will call on the state legislature to pass a budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year that “meets our needs and continues to restore the cuts to our schools.”
Negotiations over next year’s budget will begin once Wolf makes the first move tomorrow, though it’s unclear whether there will be any movement after that.
By the time Wolf speaks, the 2015-16 budget will be 32 weeks late. There are no signs of a light at the end of the tunnel for schools and social service providers across the state, who have been the main pawns in state lawmakers’ games.
“We must, however, acknowledge that a failure to act has severe consequences that will be felt across the Commonwealth,” Wolf said in a budget address preview. “If we do nothing, and continue the status quo, our schools will face impacts that cut deeper than anything we have faced in recent memory.”
Wolf again warned about the dangers of allowing the state’s structural deficits to “balloon,” something he spent much of his first year doing.
“Bond ratings would be lowered again, while debt costs and local property taxes would soar upward, and our deficit would balloon to over $2 billion,” Wolf said. “We must take action to avoid this from happening to our state and to our future. We still need schools that teach, jobs that pay and a government that works.”