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PA-BGT: What Will Wolf Do?

Tom-Wolf sadThe ink in Gov. Tom Wolf’s pen could end up being worth billions of dollars to the state.

After Republicans in the State Senate threw their support behind a $30.3 billion spending plan written by House GOP leaders, it is now up to the first-year governor to decide its fate.

The Senate voted 33-17 to send the reduced spending plan to Wolf’s desk. The plan includes a small tax increase to cover the 4.5% spending increase and substantially less public education funding, Marc Levy of the Associated Press reports.

Before leaving for the holidays on Wednesday, the PA House stalled on the agreement between Wolf and General Assembly leaders, and instead began working on the reduced budget. Senate Republicans then backed the new House-written plan after pension reform legislation died in the House.

If he does not sign the bill, social service providers across the state will look at implementing contingency plans. Some school districts, including Philadelphia, may not be able to operate in the New Year without a state budget. Millions in federal funding is also being held up in Harrisburg as the stalemate grinds on.

Wolf thought he had reached a deal with House and Senate GOP leaders on a $30.8 billion budget – the 6% spending increase he wanted. The extra $500 million in that plan also satisfied Wolf’s demands with an additional $350 million for public education.

It is unclear whether Wolf will put pen to paper on a bill which he does not feel fully restores the cuts to education funding under former Gov. Tom Corbett. Wolf vetoed a similar bill on June 30 to kick off the 181-day standoff.

17 Responses

  1. I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else encountering issues with your blog. It appears like some of the written text on your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This might be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen previously. Thanks|

  2. Turzai has got to learn that when you throw garbage onto somebody’s desk, it’s your own responsiblity to clean up the mess.

  3. The diplomatic policy analysts at the Commonwealth Foundation call it lying; others, more vulgar, call it lying.

    Commonwealth Foundation: Wolf Misleads About Education “Cuts”

    On Christmas Eve, Gov. Tom Wolf posted a blog attacking Republicans and the “extremist” budget now sitting on his desk—which passed the Senate on a bipartisan 33-17 vote. Wolf claims it “cuts” funding for public schools, while the “framework” budget presents an increase for public schools.

    It is difficult to understand, much less justify, Gov. Wolf’s shoddy claims.

    • Under HB 1460, the budget sent to the governor on Dec. 23, “Support for Public Schools”—a subtotal of education spending that excludes higher education, nonpublic school funding, and library subsidies—would increase by $404 million.

    • The increase for public schools in the “framework budget,” which would require hikes in the income and/or sales tax to fund, was $672 million (a difference of $269 million).

  4. Gov. Wolf’s ideological and arrogant stubborn overreach and unwillingness to compromise is, actually, a benefit to The Forgotten Taxpayer. May the gridlock continue. CUT SPENDING

    Isn’t there needed a Fiscal Code, a Tax Code and a School Code to effectuate the budget?

  5. So there you have it. We spent millions and millions of our dollars playing this Wolfpack game and what did we get NOTHING. Wolf could have line item vetoed the same things he is doing today and Not cost us this wasteful time. Again he drew the line in the sand and lost. He is a complete failure.
    Guess what Lee, Guess what the disaster that is Kansas State Government have in common with PA a bad advisor bad chief of staff. Go make yourself another drink. You and your boss are jokes.

  6. Harrisburg has become Washington to the max. Where the GOP tried and failed to shutdown the Federal Government for their own (Special Interests) agenda. Pennsylvania stands teetering on the brink after 181 day shutdown by the State GOP lawmakers of giving into the Special Interests who have bought and sold the GOP lawmakers. Governor Wolf has been put into a position that he can can veto this budget which will hurt children ,taxpayers,and the future of this great state or pass into law another smoke and mirror budget by the GOP that by March the State will be starting the 2016 Budget with major shortfalls in it. The phrase money buys anything today applies. Rich special interests through their GOP FLUNKIES spending money convincing average people that educating children and giving home owners a property tax cut are the problems of this budget, not protecting the special interests of paying their fair share of taxes in this state. I cannot believe the people of Pennsylvania are this gullible, but this is where we are as a State. There are repercussions for electing GOP majorities as lawmakers. Children lose over free passes for Oil/Gas industry. How far is Pennsylvania to becoming the Eastern version of the disaster that is Kansas State Government ?

  7. Wolf must veto. The fact that the House G.O.P. prefers obstruction over governance should not be rewarded. Repassing last summer’s vetoed budget was lazy and a slap in the face to the taxpayers who expect their elected officials to get the job done. Turzai’s reckless disregard for the people of this state, and his brazen brinksmanship must be confronted. This is the Turzai’s mess, and he and his G.O.P. colleagues need to own it and pay the price for their shenanigans.

  8. If Wolf signs this insulting piece of garbage, he loses all of the support that led to his election. People voted for him because they wanted full and fair funding for public schools and higher education and a state government that would start to fix infrastructure throughout PA that is crumbling from years of neglect. If he signs this, he is telling everyone who voted for him that he’s just not up to the task.

  9. BIG QUESTION – What is the tax increase that is in the budget sent to the Governor? The public needs to know because House Republicans said they wouldn’t raise any taxes.

  10. Lets make a deal. breaking news for the 10th time. We have a deal. We have reached a deal. Just wait, hold on, we have a deal. Go tell it on the mountain over the hills and everywhere. Go tell it on the mountain that we have cried wolf again.

  11. NO NO NO we will not give in….. Yes Yes Yes we will break Pennsylvania. We will shut the schools down.
    We will lay off workers. We must be right. We have screwed union workers now and we will keep screwing them… Its my mountain, I can do whatever I want…. Its mine its mine its mine…
    Until we get people that “get it” we will be in this mess. Captain Wolf and staff have no clue have no ability to make deals. No one respects any of the Wolfpack

  12. From Sen. Corman’s remarks before the vote, I’d say characterizing their reluctant vote as “throwing support behind” the House Republican plan is rather generous. The Senate reluctantly and with vocal protest voted for the proposal to avoid nasty effects of continuing the impasse. They said that they would have preferred Republican House leadership let the overwhelmingly bipartisan budget plan passed 43-7 in the Senate go to a vote in the House where it surely had enough votes to pass and would have been gladly signed by the governor, marking true compromise. Instead, the Republican House leadership prevented a vote they knew would succeed in order to subvert the will of Pennsylvanians. They never would have yanked the vote if they thought it would fail because that would have given them the high ground. The cowardice and subversion is outrageous.

  13. This isn’t true. The House didn’t begin working on this plan after stalling the reconsideration of the $30.8B budget. They just didn’t vote on it, and GOP representatives left for Christmas cheering. The Senate then voted on the smaller spending plan that was passed by the House a few weeks ago.

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