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PA-BGT: Wolf to Veto ‘Garbage’ Budget Line by Line (UPDATED with VIDEO)

It’s back to the drawing board for budget negotiators, but there are some winners before the New Year in what has become a six-month trench war.

On Tuesday morning, Gov. Tom Wolf announced he would veto line by line a $30.3 billion spending plan that House and Senate Republicans worked to put on his desk before leaving.

Wolf’s line-item veto will allow critical funding for public schools and human service providers in the state but will force all parties back to the negotiating table.

The first-year Democratic Governor slammed his colleagues in the General Assembly for leaving for the year without a budget agreement in place.

Wolf also accused House GOP leaders of stalling on the $30.8 billion spending plan which looked set for his desk before legislators began their holidays. The only vote the House held on Dec. 23 was a roll call.

“They can deny what they did. They can try to justify what they did. They can throw around all the political nonsense they want, but the fact remains. They ran off, pretty quickly at that,” Wolf said in the press conference. “They ran off before they finished their job.”

Wolf said he will veto parts of the budget plan that cut an additional $95 million from education funding, instead releasing the first 6 months of the state’s school funding and authorizing over $23 billion in total emergency spending.

19 Responses

  1. So the governor throws another temper tantrum because the “bad” Republicans won’t let him increase our taxes and because he can’t spend what he want’s to spend! My answer to Gov. Wolf is this: Welcome to PA Politics!

    If our Republican Legislators in the Assembly and Senate dare to agree with you, they WILL face the wrath of Republican voters on Election Day! This they can count on!

    Governor Wolf, here’s a message from me to you: Read my lips! NO MORE TAX INCREASES! PERIOD!

  2. Once again expenditures exceed revenues.

    Sen. John Eichelberger “The truth is that this budget spends more than $1 billion over last year’s. It included hundreds of millions more for schools, and well, more for just about everything.”

    Commonwealth Foundation

    As we pointed out this morning, Wolf’s claim that the budget would “cut” education funding by $95 million is a lie. The budget provides a $400 million increase in public school funding.

    The only item being reduced is for school construction—this isn’t being “cut” but will be funded with state bonds. In fact, that proposal is part of the framework budget too, as you can see from Gov. Wolf’s own spreadsheet.


    Commonwealth Foundation

    School Funding Less Pensions

    Perhaps Gov. Wolf is excluding the costs of pension contributions in his comparison. His logic: While taxpayers will pay more, this funding cannot be used to hire more teachers.

    In both the framework budget and the enacted budget, state payments to public schools for pension costs would increase by $567 million. Taking this funding away does make it appear that funding is being cut—but doesn’t explain Wolf’s position.

  3. The stranglehold ALEC and The Koch network have on state legislatures has never been more evident.

  4. All the GOP Lawmakers Special Interests money will not be enough to save some of their sorry asses when an angry electorate realizes this STATE GOVERMENT SHUTDOWN WAS CAUSED BY THE PARTY OF NO FOR SOLELY POLITICAL PURPOSES. Something might be for the good after this Budget Farce after all . In 2016 average people vote the PARTY OF NO AND SPECIAL INTERESTS OUT. DON’T allow Pennsylvania to become the Eastern version of Kansas.

  5. Lily – have you been paying attention the last four years? State government has taken many cuts. DEP was cut every year under Corbett. The state education subsidy was massively cut under Corbett, which directly resulted in property tax increases across the state and more than 10,000 teachers being laid off.

  6. Shame on Gov. Wolf. Wasted millions of tax payer money through this stunt. He could have accomplished the same thing in July. Reveals himself as a name calling junior leaguer. Hail the Republicans for protecting Pennsylvanians from yet more taxes. Let’s see the incompetent state government take some cuts before we even discuss more taxes.

  7. The Senate and House Republicans are calling this a big win. That’s not how I see it.

    Once again expenditures exceed revenues. Sen. John Eichelberger “The truth is that this budget spends more than $1 billion over last year’s. It included hundreds of millions more for schools, and well, more for just about everything.”

    And this budget does not include 1/2 Bbillion dollars to private, tax-exempt, non-profit corporations and those who profit from the non-profits. Welfare to the Wealthy UPENN UPITT TempleU LincolnU Penn State….millions of taxpayer billionaire corporations.

  8. Republicans turn in a budget in June.
    Wolf veto’s the entire budget
    We blow millions keeping our schools, human services, counties open.
    We watch this show for 6 months
    Wolf comes back and accepts the same budget but uses line item veto power…
    in the mean time Wolf gave up on severance tax. Going to Screws the state store employees and the revenue.
    Going to give away State pensions.
    Tell me again how Wolf thinks he is the hero???? .
    Oh don’t forget signed into law, can’t be mean to non union workers.
    Not to mention the piss poor written speech Wolf read to us today… Gosh darn-it at least learn your speech, or at least have someone in 10th grade not 2nd grade write it.
    Your name calling today was a typical show of the wolfpack no wonder we wont work with you.
    Rich boy doesn’t get his way so he calls names.

  9. The schedule may push back the negotiations until after the deadline for primary challenges and if it goes too long it may impact Nov elections – and there is a vulnerable Republican Senator running this November, an angry electorate is not in the GOP’s best interests, Wolf ain’t running – Toomey is.

  10. Stick it where the sun don’t shine you Republican apostates. You renegades will be working on this years budget come July. Come the November elections you will all be looking for new jobs. Keep it up! You’re sealing your own doom.

  11. tommyd, what about the Dems who unanimously voted against Wolf on pensions? I don’t think this is turning out how you think it is.

  12. Well said, Governor Wolf. The question remains whether the House Republicans have the decency to govern, or if they are going to continue to be the party of anarchy. For everyone’s sake, let’s hope Turzai has the courage to be a real leader and get the job done.

  13. Diano, only in your (predictable) mind. When his own party is voting unanimously to defeat his initiatives, Wolf can’t expect to come out of this smelling like roses.

  14. Diano: As is always the case with present-day PA politics (a realm in which outside parties, such as federal law enforcement and notable presidential candidates, are now the pivotal actors), absolutely nothing is as it appears to be. I would not draw any conclusions concerning the Governor’s actions at this juncture. Nor would I hedge any bets with respect to the Governor’s longevity or future plans…

    Incidentally, the seemingly unimportant Youtube video I referenced recently? Its viewership has increased by over 100 since then (over a holiday weekend, no less).

  15. This is interesting.

    If it works, Wolf gets all the credit for helping the struggling schools and the GOP gets all the blame.

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