One week after line-item vetoing their latest budget proposal, Gov. Tom Wolf is telling GOP legislators to get back to work.
On Dec. 29, Wolf slashed around $7 billion from a “garbage” $30.3 billion spending plan pushed through by House and Senate Republicans, and is now telling Republicans they are not done negotiating.
“The legislature, which has been on vacation since before Christmas, needs to come back to Harrisburg and finish their work,” Wolf said in a short video update. “The budget they sent me not only underfunded education and adds to the deficit, it is also plain unfinished. Literally, it is not complete.”
Wolf criticized his GOP legislative colleagues for putting a “fiscally irresponsible” budget that doesn’t balance on his desk and insisted he will not give up on “historic” funding increases for the state’s education system.
“Pennsylvania already has a $2.3 billion structural deficit due to Republicans’ smoke-and-mirrors accounting of past years, and the half-baked budget they sent me increases it even more,” Wolf said. “It will lead to more credit downgrades and fiscal instability in Pennsylvania. It is not responsible.”
Though Wolf’s veto released $3.3 billion in emergency funding for schools, counties and human service providers, there is still plenty of work to be done before officials start to work on next year’s budget.
The budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year is now 190 days late and still not complete, making it highly unlikely the 2016-17 budget will be passed before the next fiscal year begins on July 1st.