PA-BGT: Statewide Reaction to Wolf’s Budget Veto

Pennsylvania-MapYesterday, Governor Tom Wolf vetoed the budget passed by the Republican-controlled legislature.

You can read Governor Wolf’s statement regarding the vetoing of the budget here.

The following is a running tally of reaction from officials throughout the state.

State Rep. Steve McCarter:

“Governor Wolf made the right decision in vetoing a smoke and mirrors budget that includes more one-time funding sources the likes of which we’ve been seeing for the past four years. The Republican leadership team did not confer with Democrats to craft this budget, but it certainly seems like they took a page out of former Governor Corbett’s playbook.

“This sham of a budget bill does nothing to restore the devastating education cuts Governor Corbett enacted upon taking office. It doesn’t ask the Marcellus Shale drillers to pay their fair share for having access to one of Pennsylvania’s largest natural resources. It doesn’t enact real property tax reform to help Pennsylvania’s middle class and senior citizens stay in their homes. It swings and misses on most of what the people of Pennsylvania want.

“Now that the governor has vetoed this budget, I encourage the speaker of the House and the majority leaders to come back to the negotiating table and work to find a middle ground in good faith. As elected officials, we know we cannot simply disagree and walk away from discussion. The people of Pennsylvania deserve better than what this budget offered and I’m proud we finally have a governor willing to work and give it to them.”

Democratic Leader Rep. Frank Dermody:

“Republicans wasted a lot of time in the last few days working on a dead-end budget that wasn’t balanced and would have ultimately created a $3 billion deficit. Now that the governor vetoed the budget, it’s time for all of us to get back to work on a real budget plan that constructively helps the people of Pennsylvania. With this veto, we now should resume working on a budget that lowers property taxes, funds education through a tax on drilling, and responsibly closes the deficit.”

Democratic Whip Rep. Mike Hanna:

“The governor has been more than willing to meet and work with Republicans and Democrats since he took office in January. His door has been open and he made it clear that he’s ready to continue discussions. Democrats will be there with him.”

Appropriations Committee Democratic Chairman Rep. Joe Markosek:

“The Republican budget plan never added up. It was built on mystery math and one-time gimmicks that would only exacerbate the actual budget deficit.”

Democratic Philadelphia Mayoral Candidate Jim Kenney:

“Just two weeks ago, a bipartisan commission organized by Governor Corbett proposed a fair solution to the education funding crisis that has left our state open to so much national criticism. It was a proud moment of compromise for Pennsylvania and one that I know we can achieve again through budget negotiations. Now that each side has presented their ideal budgets for the record, it is time to set ideologies aside and work towards the common goal of providing every Pennsylvania child with a quality education and a full, fair funding formula.”

PA Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason:

“Republicans in the state Senate and state House have taken clear actions that will improve the lives of families across Pennsylvania by passing a ‘Taxpayer’s Budget. Tonight, Governor Tom Wolf chose to veto that ‘Taxpayers Budget’ and side with liberal special interest benefactors over Pennsylvania taxpayers. While Governor Tom Wolf was starting up a new, shadow group this month to heighten political rhetoric, Republicans in the state Senate and state House were busy reforming our public pension system, getting government out of the liquor business and passing a responsible budget that invests in our schools without raising taxes. It is unfortunate that Governor Wolf would rather create a crisis than hold a substantive discussion about Pennsylvania’s fiscal future. Governor Wolf has the power to keep the state running so it is time to pause his ongoing political campaign and sign the budget.”

State Sen. Pat Stefano:

“This is a realistic plan, a fiscally responsible plan that enables the Commonwealth to live within its means,” Stefano said. “What Pennsylvanians cannot afford is increased taxes, higher energy costs and skyrocketing pension costs that will drive up property taxes and take more dollars away from classrooms.”

“Lawmakers and state residents have soundly rejected the governor’s call for massive tax and spending hikes. “I am hopeful that the governor will remember what it’s like to run a business that employs people and abandon his desire to dramatically increase the size, scope and expense of state government.”

Pennsylvania State Council of the Service Employees International Union:

“Gov. Wolf proposed a budget that deals with the issues people care about – restoring school funding, providing property tax relief, and fixing the structural deficit. Instead of coming to the table, Republican leaders chose to protect handouts to gas drillers by advancing a budget held together with bubble gum and scotch tape. We have to do better than repeating another year of Governor Corbett’s draconian cuts.  Governor Wolf has vowed to stand up for the children, families and workers of Pennsylvania by vetoing this budget. Now the onus is on Republican leaders — come to the table and do what’s right for Pennsylvania.”

7 Responses

  1. Yahoo…veto baby…I want higher state inc taxes….a higher sales tax even on food and clothing…..definitely higher taxes on gas suppliers, my energy costs are to low….more teachers, right on and stuff for everyone…yahooo

  2. The Lizard and L Williams are right on the mark,
    I have nothing more to bring to the conversation….

  3. The good people of Pennsylvania understand what’s going on here. The PAGOP has decided to stick with special interests, like out-of-state energy companies taking advantage of freebies and handouts, and ignore the interests of PA’s workers and their families. The resounding defeat we gave Corbett last year was not a fluke, and will apply to all those legislators who toed the corporate line, in the next election.
    Look around you. America is turning on a dime right now. Rightwing social engineering has failed. Rightwing pro-corporate economic policies have failed in every case. Rightwing clown-car candidates are being mocked and dismissed for things they’ve been saying for years, on every issue. PA legislators: Sewage flows downhill, and you are next in the drainpipe. You were elected with the promise that you would somehow start governing again, instead of kissing corporate behind, and sopping up the gravy. The choices are child-like in their simplicity: Fix something, or we will eject you from the playground. The next election will have a MASSIVE turnout. Think about that.

  4. Mike:

    There are not three actors here. There’s the legislature and the Governor. The Governor can veto acts of the legislature, and the legislature can override his veto. That’s how the game is played.

    Moreover, Majority Leader Corman was elected in 2014 with the votes of 46,391 people from his district. Speaker Turzai was elected with the votes of 17,146 from his district. Both were unopposed.

    Governor Wolf was elected with the votes of 1,920,355 Pennsylvanians.

    One might argue that if we’re doing the math, Governor Wolf has a bit more of a mandate for the things he campaigned on.

  5. The system is set-up so that it can avoid stalemates. You cannot tie with three teams playing the game. Gov. Wolf is outnumbered 2-1, stop playing the game Governor and pass the budget on time.

  6. Here’s the thing no one on the R side seems to want to discuss. They owned Harrisburg, every branch and leaf on it, for the past four years. Only now, when they know it will be vetoed, does the Republican legislature pass “pension reform” and privatizing liquor? Why didn’t they do that when Corbett was governor? We all know why. As far as “property tax reform”, they can’t get on the same page with that. Bob Gleason can call this the “Taxpayers Budget” all he wants, but it is really “the Republican Base and Legislators’ Mailer Quote Budget”.

  7. It’s refreshing to see a governor working with the numbers to work our way out of some serious economic holes — that no one cares to talk about. What the legislature did was pass Corbett’s budget on Wolf’s watch. That time has passed. I hope the Governor sticks to his commitment to the people of PA who voted him into office. We need to become a progressive state, and improve our standings in almost every category. Just how does privatization of liquor stores really, I mean really, help us as the most inequitable state in the union when it comes to education funding? Really? How does my elderly father stay in his home without a lowering or better, elimination, of his property taxes? Really? How is pension reform not illegal? Does anyone care to inspect that? The public is not as ignorant as the legislature would like you to believe. Wolf makes perfect sense. Fair, honest, balanced.

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