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PA-BGT: Wolf, GOP Give Reassurances on Potential Deal

wolf-budget addressLeaders in Harrisburg remain confident of passing a comprehensive budget agreement by Thanksgiving, after hours of confusion over what had actually been agreed to.

GOP leaders were considering pulling the plug on the 5-month-late budget deal, after Gov. Tom Wolf “over-promised” on education spending, Angela Couloumbis and Chris Palmer of the Inquirer report.

Wolf and GOP negotiators assembled reporters in the Governor’s office Tuesday afternoon to cool talk of a collapse in negotiations.

“This is a really important break,” Wolf said. “We are working very hard to get this done.”

On Monday, the first-year Democratic governor announced he had reached a deal with GOP leaders to inject $750 million into the state’s school system over the next two years, though Republicans had only offered $350 million for basic education and $50 million for special education for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Other aspects of the tentative agreement remain the same: a 1.25% increase in the sales tax statewide, $500 million in slot-machine gambling revenue to be sent to the state treasury and no severance tax. Pension reform and liquor privatization are also still expected to be included in some form in the final agreement.

10 Responses

  1. Another example of the national trend to move the cost of governmet / schools, etc. farther and farther away from those who can pay and on to the backs of the middle and lower/working classes. The income tax and the sales tax will be easier to increase when needed. I paid a higher percentage of my income in taxes than Mitt Romney did in 2012, when he ran for President, how is that possible. Well now I know full well.

  2. The raise in sales tax is a usury tax. Republicans love that tax. To fund education with this tax is no better than property tax hikes. It is paid by the middle class again. No extraction tax on gas/oil keeps the money pouring into Republican leadership. Scarnati from Jefferson County is a poster boy for gas/oil contributions to his election War Chest which is in the millions. Wolf should stonewall until February. Let the GOP Lawmakers face the electorate at petiton signing time. Picking gas/oil over children should be an easy sell for the Democrats. Of course Democratic Lawmakers instead of backing the Governor cower in the corner worrying about their own re-election than supporting Governor Wolf. Term Limits Term Limits Term Limits.

  3. I hope the Republicans wake up and realize this deal is not what’s best for the state. No tax increases and no bs property tax relief. If the school districts still pass budgets we will never see property tax relief.

  4. Nothing to see here — yet — folks. Move along. Man, it is a slow news week to get the third day in a row of whoop de whiz! another potential deal. Gotta go along with gulagPburgh here.

  5. How is an over 9% sales tax in Philadelphia (a result of the proposed budget deal) not in the headlines? I’ve barely seen it mentioned other than in passing.

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