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PA-BGT: The Budget of Yesteryear

wolf-budget addressThe state’s longest-ever budget standoff is scheduled to become something of an afterthought if officials in Harrisburg don’t alter their planning timeline for next year’s budget.

Tom Wolf – who just completed his first year as Governor – is due to deliver his second annual budget address to the General Assembly on Feb. 9, which would, usually, kick off negotiations on the budget that starts July 1st, Kate Giammarise of the Post-Gazette reports.

If state lawmakers hold true to their calendars – and do not pass a budget – Wolf will be tasked with laying out his vision for the 2016-17 fiscal year, though the 2015-16 budget will be 224 days late by then.

“I’ve been in the Legislature for 17 years and never anything like this, and to my knowledge this situation is totally unprecedented,” Rep. Dan Frankel told the Post-Gazette.

Wolf is expected to push for more education funding and revenue-raising measures, something the GOP-controlled House and Senate have been lukewarm on throughout the Governor’s first year.

There seems to be waning interest in passing a budget this year, with many not expecting movement until after the April 26th primary.

Almost all urgency in the state capital has disappeared since Wolf’s partial veto at the end of December, after schools and social services providers received six-months’ worth of funding they desperately needed.

However, the State Senate is looking to vote this week on a bill to appropriate around $940 million to the PA Department of Corrections. Wolf’s partial veto only approved half of the DoC’s $1.8 billion budget, and that money is almost gone, the Post-Gazette reports.

3 Responses

  1. There has been much talk on social media about the “Vote Them All Out” movement. This can’t happen soon enough. No one side is to blame for this impasse but neither side can expect 100% of what they want. Hence, negotiate and concede! Pennsylvania’s politicians should be embarrassed in front of the rest of this country. It’s bad enough that the politicians in Washington can’t do their jobs but for the same to be at our state level as well. We the people are tired of this BS. I for one will not vote for any incumbent!

  2. This impasse is intolerable. Which is why Wolf held out as long as possible in a total veto rather than a line item partial veto. Unless enough stress was brought to bear, the GOP legislature would continue to kick it down the road and never compromise for a full budget.

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