PA-Gov: Jacobson: Wolf Administration A “Mixed Bag”

Tom-Wolf sadGoverning Magazine’s Louis Jacobson is a good friend of PoliticsPA and in his latest column he rated the first year of all twelve rookie Governors throughout the nation.

The dozen were sorted into three categories: “Largely Successful So Far”, “Mixed Bag” and “Struggling”.

Wolf was put in the “Mixed Bag” section.

“He was voted in on a wave of disappointment with one-term Republican Gov. Tom Corbett,” Jacobson writes of Wolf. “The honeymoon, however, didn’t last long.”

“While Wolf has won some praise for an emphasis on ethics and transparency, he has been unable to pass a budget through the GOP-controlled legislature, even though some say the outlines for a reasonable compromise are evident,” Jacobson continues. “For instance, observers say he could secure new education money using proceeds from a natural gas severance tax and an increase in the personal income tax, in exchange for such Republican priorities as a state employee pension overhaul and a green light for grocery stores to sell beer and wine. But agreeing to such a deal would draw fire from public employee and other labor unions, and so far Wolf hasn’t pulled the trigger.”

This assessment comes on the heels of Wolf’s unsucessful effort to pass his tax plans in the legislature last week.

3 Responses

  1. Everyone but Wolf already knows what the endgame is going to be with the budget.

    A severance tax on its own will barely generate any revenue at this point because the price of gas has tanked and production is way down, and GOP will never vote for an increase in the income or sales tax.

    So, you’ll probably get a severance tax to replace the impact fee (which will end up pretty close to a wash…the difference will be that the local governments will get screwed in favor of SEPA). Meaningful revenue will come from expanded gambling and some sort of half-assed liquor privatization (probably selling off most of the retail locations, but keeping some state stores in rural areas and the wholesale operation).

    Wolf will get his number on K-12 education spending, and there will be some sort of half-assed compromise on pension reform, so that we will still be screwed in the long term, but not quite as screwed.

    No problems will be solved and little will be accomplished. Yay Pennsylvania. Just get on with it.

  2. Pennsylvanians are already paying severance taxes on natural gas coming into the Commonwealth; and, eventually much of the gas extracted in PA will be exported when the pipelines are in place, so why not Republicans? Is it all about tipping the scales and busting the unions?

  3. Jacobson is delusional (or his anonymous “observers” are) that GOP would give Wolf a natural gas severence tax to fund public education (with all those unionized teachers). The GOP agenda is not to govern, but to destroy unions and privatize schools and alcohol distribution.

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