PA-BGT: Wolf Bends on Liquor, Pensions

wolf-budget addressNow into the 12th week of state officials’ budget standoff, Gov. Wolf is ready to meet Republican legislative leaders somewhere in the middle.

Wolf’s administration has released an outline of the Governor’s plan to lease the state’s 601 Wine & Spirits stores to private enterprising, while maintaining the state’s ownership of the overarching system, according to a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The first-year Governor also announced he is willing to implement a 401(k)-style plan for state and school employees, Katie Giammarise of the Post-Gazette wrote.

“Today, I put on the table historic reforms on pensions and liquor…two things that they say are very important to them,” Wolf said at a press conference in the Capitol building.

And then Wolf’s frustration with GOP legislators became clear.

“And what do I get in return? Nothing. I got nothing on a severance tax [on natural gas]. Nothing. I got nothing on education. Nothing. I got nothing on property tax relief. And I got nothing…on how we are actually going to balance this budget.”

Under Wolf’s plans, private lessees of the state’s liquor stores would have control over the number and location of the stores, but would have to keep the state’s unionized workforce.

Wolf vetoed a GOP-backed bill to privatize the entire liquor industry shortly after vetoing the GOP’s budget at the beginning of July, causing months of budgetary inaction.

September 17th, 2015 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Governor, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 17 Comments

17 thoughts on “PA-BGT: Wolf Bends on Liquor, Pensions”

  1. observer says:

    I don’t think they are releasing the full story. It seems like when something goes wrong GOP gets blamed.

  2. aaron says:

    Maybe we do need to spend more money on education…good lord.

  3. heysailor says:

    Great comments, L Williams. PA is provincial and backward. The failed republicon and machine Dem policies of the past don’t work, and that’s why other states are eating our lunch. Abolish municipal governments and local school districts within a county and eliminate the hundreds of local fiefdoms and rice bowls around the state where finding your brother in law a job is the One Important Thing. Raise the public pension retirement age for all recipients to sixty. Don’t let state legislators set one pension for themselves and another for everyone else. And don’t convert pendions to 401K plans that only enrich Wall Street. Reform, go forward!

  4. Senator Rutherford B. Cattywampus says:

    Observer and gulag: You are 1000% correct in your observations.

  5. Jim Pickard says:

    Welcome to the real world Tom, just a sheep in Wolf’s clothing!!!!

  6. waaaaaa waaaa says:

    gotta keep those liquor store clerks on the dole!

  7. L Williams says:

    STAND FIRM, GOVERNOR, DO NOT WAVER, CONTINUE TO SELL THE VISION OF A PROGRESSIVE PENNSYLVANIA. WE ARE A BACKWARD STATE WITH FIEFDOMS EVERYWHERE. WHY DON’T WE ELIMINATE 500 SCHOOL DISTRICTS WITH 500 ADMINISTRATIONS? WHY DON’T WE SHRINK THE LEGISLATURE AND MAKE SURE THEY HAVE THE SAME RETIREMENT PLANS THEY WANT TO IMPOSE ON OUR TEACHERS? THE POOR STANDINGS WE HAVE IN ALMOST EVERY STATE CATEGORY MEASURE IS SAD. AND THE REPUBLICANS ARE STILL TRYING TO IMPLEMENT CORBETT’S LOST POLICIES, THEY ARE THE JOKE.

  8. aaron says:

    Anne – Gov Wolf standing firm equates to people in PA getting hurt – hit with higher taxes that they cannot afford. Seniors and many living below the poverty line cannot survive his tax hikes. It is sad that people like yourself do not care about the most vulnerable people in society.

  9. Anne says:

    Stand firm Governor.

  10. Albert Brooks says:

    Continued State control is not a compromise to privatization. Privatization means private companies doing business with private citizens without government involved in the wholesale or retail transaction.

    The state is supposed to regulate, not retail.

  11. Tony says:

    Wolf is giving Republicans something they never asked for on liquor. He’s a joke. Typical slimy politician.

  12. Lew Bryson says:

    This is not a meaningful compromise: it is simply trading one monopoly for another, and the desire is to GET RID OF THE MONOPOLY. We want choice on buying liquor and wine; we don’t have it now, and the Governor’s “compromise” doesn’t give us any. It’s not about the union; it’s about this stupid, outdated, backwards, moronic monopoly. We just want the same freedom people have in other states. Governor Wolf’s “compromise” is crap.

  13. Betsy says:

    It is terrible when people in their mid 60s have to go back to work to pay their property taxes of $100 a week!

  14. Observer says:

    Stand firm on the Shale Tx, governor – we are the ONLY state that doesn’t have one. Makes us look stupid and turdsEye look corrupt.

  15. PhillyPolitico says:

    I trust Gov. Wolf in these negotiations, but this is basically a rhetorical point.

  16. Observer says:

    If he agrees to this he loses his base … I as a Dem don’t like either one of these ideas … this sounds allot like the compromise that was made to prevent school vouchers (charter schools) … how did that work out, charter schools are worse than public schools and they are costing the taxpayers double the money. Nice compromise! Wolf needs to stand firm!

  17. gulagPittsburgh says:

    It is not about privatization; for the GOP it is about destroying the union. Thus, the requirement that any private buyer keep the union workers is a non-starter for the GOP. Yes, the GOP will shut down the State to try to hurt workers. Yes, the GOP will shut down the federal govt to hurt women medical care. That’s who they are.

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