PA-BGT: Wolf Rejects Stopgap Measure With Veto
Several weeks after vowing to veto a short-term solution for PA’s budget crisis, Gov. Tom Wolf made good on his promise Tuesday.
“This temporary General Appropriation bill fails to provide the long-term investment in Pennsylvania’s future that this Commonwealth needs,” Wolf wrote in a statement to the PA Senate. “It is an avoidance maneuver that fails to adequately fund education and locks in the same damaging cuts to human service programs included in House Bill 1192” – which Wolf vetoed on June 30.
The State Senate and House have worked for the last few weeks to put a stopgap budget plan on Wolf’s desk knowing the bill had very little chance of getting the governor’s signature.
“Republican leaders passed a stopgap budget that once again sells out the people of Pennsylvania to oil and gas companies and Harrisburg special interests,” Wolf said. “Republican leaders are intent on Harrisburg politics as usual and embracing a failed status quo that is holding Pennsylvania back.”
It has now been just a day under three months since Wolf vetoed the GOP’s budget vision, with very little progress made since. Wolf and GOP legislators continue to negotiate – or bicker – over education funding, liquor, pensions and a natural gas severance tax.
Wolf, however, still seems optimistic about drafting a “commonsense” budget that all sides can agree to.
“Despite the political posturing and blatant obstruction by Republican leaders, I know there are rank and file Republican legislators who understand the importance of investing in education and there are rank and file Republican legislators who support a commonsense severance tax,” Wolf said.
PA GOP Chairman Rob Gleason slammed the first-year governor for yet another budget veto and “applauded” Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and GOP House leaders for standing strong against “Governor No.”
“It’s shameful to watch Governor Tom Wolf single-handedly withhold funding for our schools and social services so he can try and force tax increases,” Gleason said.
Thursday will mark the start of the state’s fourth month without a budget.