PA-Gov: Wolf Briefs Reporters on Transition Process
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.”