PA-Gov: Wolf Briefs Reporters on Transition Process

wolfGovernor-Elect Tom Wolf held a conference call today to discuss how the transition process has been going.

Wolf and Transition Chair John Fry gave short statements and took questions for about fifteen minutes.

In his opening statement, Wolf laid out the three priorities for his transition team: 1.Identify Pennsylvania’s challenges 2. Find good people to address those challenges 3. Inspire those people to want to serve the commonwealth.

“The goal is to have a team in place so that I can hit the ground running on January 20th when I’m inaugurated as Governor,” Wolf said.

During questioning, Wolf mostly glossed over any differences he and Gov. Corbett have at the moment.

When asked by the Philadelphia Daily News’ John Baer whether he was still in campaign mode, Wolf rejected the premise.

“I’m trying to make an honest assessment of where we are,” Wolf responded. “I am a different kind of politician, I want to be guided by what’s practical not what’s ideologically correct. I’m simply trying to make the case that I think the problems we have right now are the result of people taking ideology over the practical reality.”

Concerning any possible legislative action in the lame-duck period, the Gov-Elect stated there was little he could do.

“I’m looking forward to working with the legislature once I’m Governor. I don’t control things between now and then,” Wolf said before transitioning to the impending situation of divided government in Harrisburg.

“Pennsylvania voted for a divided government, but they also voted, I think, for us to get things done,” he stated. “I would think that all of us, Republicans or Democrats, the members of the Senate [and] the House and then the executive branch, all of us should have the same goal. And that is to work hard on behalf of the people who voted for us and work hard to get things done.”

Wolf was then asked about what he would tell PA citizens considering the current budget situation.

“I think the basic reassurance is that Pennsylvania will live within its means,” he responded.

The Governor-Elect passed on making a statement about York County schools before he assumes office. He also declined to name any Secretaries to his cabinet or rule out the possibility of keeping someone on.

As for his own qualifications for cabinet members, he identified policy expertise, inspiration to do great things and the willingness to be “stewards of the grand democratic tradition” as his measuring sticks. He also seemed to dismiss the notion that he was merely looking for “technocrats”.

Finally, he was asked by Jim O’Toole of the Post-Gazette about whether education funding increases are possible in his first budget given the current financial situation. Wolf dodged the question a bit, referring to his budget task force.

“I have every hope that I can make real progress in the issues I talked about throughout the campaign,” Wolf said. “That I can address those issues well, starting with the first budget.”

December 4th, 2014 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Governor, Top Stories | 4 Comments

4 thoughts on “PA-Gov: Wolf Briefs Reporters on Transition Process”

  1. Christian McDaniel says:

    I am responding to affirm everything the first commenter stated regarding the former govenor’s reforms towards unemployment. Myself along with two other co-workers in a local paving company will not have enough earnings outside of our high summer quarters to be eligible for unemployment. If I were to open a claim in the 2nd or 3rd quarter it would work in my favor, but the reforms seem to specifically target persons engaged in construction who tend to work excessive amounts of overtime in the 3rd quarter of the year.
    This situation will force my family to leave this state and move down south where, although wages are considerably lower for myself, my wife will earn considerably more as a Nurse Practitioner and I will be more gainfully employed throughout the entire year.
    For what it’s worth, I was denied unemployment by only just over 100 dollars this 4th quarter of 2015 and will be denied the 1st quarter of 2016 by less than 50 dollars.

  2. Gary Shawver says:

    December 5, 2014 at 5:04 pm
    I strongly feel that Governor Corbetts unemployment reform will greatly affect skills of the overall Road Construction Industry. Raising the 3 quarters outside of the high quarter from 37% to 49.5% was extreme. Road construction has a winter shutdown period regulated by the State. Therefore most employees rely on unemployment to carry them financially to the following spring, hence, fail to have earnings in that time frame/quarters. In my own history of 38 yrs. of paving Pa. Roads and Highways I never had a Government deny me UC benefits. I will, however, as well as many co-workers be denied with this reform. I feel that many will seek new jobs outside of Road Construction to eliminate the struggle of no income yr. after yr. Loosing those skills of many yrs experience could be devastating to the outcome of quality road work in Pa. I will speak for those denied by quoting them, (I will quit this Road Construction if I can’t sign ) I have been with the same Company as an asphalt paver operator for 38 yrs. and will also quit because family security comes first. Its hopeless to think with the State specs pertaining the cold and wet elements and shutdown that we can reach the 49.5% increase. Most would be eligible at the old 37%, I will for sure. It needs to lowered again or face a crisis of many families trying to face the winters without income. If the earnings are there for the old 37% and most would be approved, why by increasing to 49.5% should they be completely denied. I know of a coworker under the percent by $200. and was completely denied, that is just wrong!! We will work when work is available. the rest is controlled by the employer and the state. I feel this was reform was unjust. It was not our decision to have all the previous extensions that depleted the fund. We have never used those extensions. Our period of unemployment consist of the winter and is generally the same amount of weeks every year. Lets save the skills of all those deprived of benefits as it ultimately effects the roads and highways of Pennsylvania. Thanks Gary Shawver

  3. LancasterCoobserver says:

    “I think the basic reassurance is that Pennsylvania will live within its means,” I certainly hope so since that is the law – a balanced budget.

  4. Lily says:

    The rash of school shootings and the need to adequately fund mental health treatment is all but a distant memory. I hope Gov. Elect Wolfe does not consider “savings” in a needed area that is already shamefully underfunded.

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