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PA-Gov: Tom Wolf Transition Team Announces Budget Sticking Points

wolfGovernor-Elect Tom Wolf’s team is laying the groundwork for a strategy to blame their predecessor for the state’s financial condition.

Tomorrow Charles Zogby, Budget Secretary for the Corbett Administration, will deliver the mid-year budget outline and the incoming Governor wants to set the terms of the debate beforehand.

For example, Wolf’s transition team points to a statement Secretary Zogby made last summer.

“I would never have guessed that our Year Four budget would be more difficult than what we faced in Year One,” he said. “But that’s where we are today.”

Additionally, Governor-elect Tom Wolf and the chair and vice-chair of his Transition Team’s budgetary task force, Mary Soderberg and Josh Shapiro respectively, identified four key areas that they feel “illustrate the depth of the fiscal hole” the Wolf Administration will inherit.

Chief among the Wolf team’s concerns is that Corbett’s budget was based upon one time revenue sources. Facing what the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) has projected to be a multibillion dollar deficit resulting from a spending plan reliant upon nonrecurring revenue, the Wolf Administration has recognized a significant imbalance in the state’s spending plan.

The IFO has identified over $1 billion in nonrenewable resources, funding shifts and one-time savings that by July 1st, 2015, will require an increase in spending to support. The Associated Press criticized these actions last summer, accusing the current administration of implementing these precarious spending measures to avoid a tax increase that would split the House and Senate Republican majorities.

Next on the Wolf roster is the negative cash-flow Pennsylvania is expected to take in from January to March 2015. As of November 2014, it is projected that Wolf will be the heir to a nearly $2 billion deficit.

Compounding the issue, the Corbett Administration has maxed out its line of credit in order to cover its operating costs. According to State Treasurer Rob McCord, in September the Governor’s office was expected to have reached its $1.5 billion credit limit.

Lastly, job creation—a prominent issue during the gubernatorial debates—has presented itself as a problem area. Just as in the campaign, the Wolf team points to a Keystone Research Center report that shows the state 50th in job growth over Corbett’s tenure (we did a detailed breakdown of this claim in October).

Wolf and Shapiro are planning on holding a press conference after Zogby’s presentation tomorrow. Expect them to expand further on these points and the bad fiscal hand they feel they’ve been dealt.

9 Responses

  1. Please do not keep the Moratorium on the Death Penalty. You are slapping the faces of the the family members who have already gone through hell and now must go through it again during trials.

    An eye for an eye Mr. Governor – without the Death Penalty there is no deterrent for the scum who violate the laws of our Commonwealth. You are making a very huge mistake and it would not be a very good start to your Governorship!

    Jacqui Carracappa

  2. I really want to see what your going to do about PA tax and school tax and the other taxes we play.

  3. The Lower Merion Township Commissioners are voting Wednesday, December 10 at the township building in Ardmore to give the RACP funds of 10.5 million dollars given to improve the Ardmore station to a private builder to help fund the Dranoff/Cricket parking lot luxury condos that will tie up traffic and cost Ardmore much needed parking space. We need the office of Governor Tom Wolf to listen to the people and stop this, taxpayer monies should not be used for private development.

  4. Your own later story says Zogby admits Corbett has left a huge mess, so I am not sure why you accuse Wolf of a “blame” strategy. The financial hole, budget gimmicks, downgrade, etc, are objective facts.
    We’ll see if Republican legislators take any ownership for budgets they passed.

  5. “Josh” Shapiro (not “Jason”) and “Independent” Fiscal Office (not “Internal”).

  6. Dissapointed that the strategy is to “blame”. Enough already. We see where that has gotten us on a national level. Let’s fix the problems looking forward and positively.

  7. Governor, please on your trip to the White House today do not let the failure of this president and vice president infect you. All of us who voted for you are hopeful of Pa. moving forward finally.

  8. I hope you can help the city of York school system. We taxpayers do not want to pay out of state charter schools to run our system

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