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Reader Poll: Wolf’s to Blame for Missing Budget Deadline

wolf-sadIt’s been nearly a week now since the June 30th budget deadline passed.

The GOP majorities in both houses passed a budget by themselves and Gov. Wolf vetoed it. Both sides are still talking but there’s no resolution in sight.

On the verge of the crisis last week, we chose to ask our readers who they blame for missing the budget deadline.

It was the most popular reader survey we’ve ever had.

2,427 respondents pointed the finger of blame at Governor Wolf.

Meanwhile, 1,103 feel legislative Republicans are responsible.

151 readers think it’s the fault of both while eight answered neither.

The full results are below:

Who Do You Blame for Missing the Budget Deadline?

  • Governor Wolf (66%)
  • Legislative Republicans (30%)
  • Both (4%)
  • Neither (0%)

Total Voters: 3,689

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13 Responses

  1. Too many partisan participants have distorted and diminished the value of your poll.
    The correct answer should have been “Both.” These same GOP legislative leaders helped Corbett get us in the mess that we are in. They rubber-stamped all of his budgets and thus are to blame for current and looming financial disasters. At the least, the budget cutbacks to local governments and school districts of the last four years should have been accompanied by new laws to help the locals deal with these shortages.

    Conversely, Gov. Wolf needs to show willingness to take a bit longer to make the corrections he thinks are necessary. He is at least equally responsible for the current impasse. I can’t name a single Democrat legislator that owes his victory last year — even in part — to the coattails of the new Governor.

  2. How about some facts:

    2015-16 Budget Timeline
    • March 3: Gov. Tom Wolf introduced his budget proposal that had a net effect of increasing taxes by 16 percent and spending $4.7 billion more than last year. This would be accomplished by increasing sales tax to 7 percent (from the current 6 percent) and expanding it to cover items such non-prescription drugs, cable TV, nursing home care and daycare services. He also called for increasing the income tax by 21 percent, from 3.07 percent to 3.70 percent, and establishing a severance tax that the Independent Fiscal Office has said would be the highest in the country. These new taxes would help reduce property taxes and increase funding for various programs, including K-12 education, which would receive an additional $500 million.
    • March 9-26: The House and Senate held hearings on the governor’s budget. Several officials, including the governor, stated that the governor’s proposal is a holistic package and must be voted on in its entirety. In a March 11 interview with the Harrisburg Patriot-News, Gov. Wolf said of his proposal, “It actually is a holistic program. It’s not meant to be cherry-picked.”
    • June 1: House Democrats asked for a debate on the governor’s budget proposal on the floor of the House of Representatives. The legislation that would implement the new taxes the governor proposed to fund his spending plan was called up for a vote. It failed 0-193. No Republican or Democrat members voted for the governor’s tax proposal.
    • June 27: House Republicans called up their own budget proposal, which included no new taxes, was balanced and would have increased spending by 3.6 percent, while staying within the guidelines of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). More than $370 million in new spending was allocated for education. The legislation passed 112-77.
    • June 30: The Senate passed the House budget by a vote of 30-19. The House and Senate also sent the governor legislation to reform the state’s pension system and the way alcohol is sold in the state. The pension reform legislation would save $11 billion, which would help address the $50 billion unfunded liability in the state’s pension systems. The liquor reforms would have allowed beer distributors and restaurants to buy wine and spirit licenses and would lease the wholesale side. This would result in $220 million in revenue the first year, with $200 million in proceeds coming into the state annually. Additionally, the state would still collect the $450 million in annual revenue generated from the taxation of alcohol.
    • After June 30: Following passage of the state budget on June 30, Gov. Wolf vetoed the entire budget and the liquor bill. He has not yet indicated what he will do with the pension reform bill (he has 10 days).


    This is the first time in 39 years a budget was vetoed in its entirety. The Governor has not proposed a serious discussion with Legislative leaders about his differences with them, whose responsibility it is to pass a budget.

  3. The first comment below is completely correct. Some of the later comments, though, are powerfully partisan.

  4. The people voted in a governor that provide solutions for a state that has run amok. We need quantum leaps in the vision process. I look forward to the days of a progressive state engaged in making the right decisions for corporate citizens (10% to 5%), for property owners (less or no property tax), for 5% of profits from our natural resources staying here instead of going to Texas, for increased and more equitable support for our public education institutions and for less or no Wall Street fees going to pensions for people who serve here. I look forward to a progressive state that votes out all these old, crusty Republicans that have no creative solutions except those that under the Corbett administration did nothing to advance our ambitions or address our needs.

  5. Of the more than 12.5 million people in Pennsylvania, how many have been impacted by the failure of the state government to pass a budget?

  6. unfortunately, too many people get too caught up on the “deadline” aspect of this process. because it is such a simple concept, meeting a deadline. but there is a bigger picture here that needs to be considered, having a job done right. the previous four corbett budgets met a “deadline”, but that is about all they accomplished, aside from creating a budget shortfall of over $2 billion.

  7. So Governor Wolf wants more taxes for hardworking families? What about the “fees” that our previous Governor imposed on us? The problem Republicans have signed the Grover Norquist pledge not to raise taxes, but they can raise fees. Governor Wolf is in no way to blame for the budget not being passed. I worked for the Commonwealth I know the tricks the House and Senate plays – no new taxes, just new fees.

  8. You’re right it does Matt, the two tangoing (the house & senate) both passed an on time budget. The odd man out is the Governor, and all he has done is veto and delay progress.

  9. It’s really not fair to blame the new Governor for the budget impasse. It takes more than one to tango.

  10. The Republicans passed a budget and met the deadline. Wolf wants more taxes on hardworking families and vetoed the budget. That clearly means it’s his fault. The people spoke to their representatives and said not to raise taxes. The representatives listened to the people and passed a budget without tax increases. Thank you for listening to the people. I haven’t heard a single person say yes I want more taxes. Please hold the line and don’t pass any bill with tax increases.

  11. DELCO – thanks for your input, now please keep your Democratic trolling off of the comments.

  12. Well, it’s only a PoliticsPA poll. Not exactly representative of the electorate.

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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