Governor Tom Wolf dealt a new blow to fragile budget negotiations Friday when he announced his veto of a birthday card intended for his niece. The Governor accused the heartwarming note of failing to address Amber’s core fiscal challenges.
“For months I have negotiated with Amber in an effort to encourage her to responsibly fund her college savings account. Instead, she chose to fill the gap with short-term gimmicks like Christmas money and occasional babysitting. This problem will not be solved with a $25 birthday check. For that reason I cannot, in good faith, give this card my signature,” Wolf said in a written statement.
The decision extends a months-long debate that started when Amber turned 13 in July.
Amber’s mother, Wolf’s sister-in-law Denise, expressed surprise at the announcement.
“I appreciate that Tom wants Amber to be responsible, but this is getting ridiculous. He said he wouldn’t even return to the bargaining table until Amber committed to a monthly deposit of $10 into her 529 college savings plan,” Denise said. “We may celebrate her sweet sixteen before Tom decides to budge.”
“We’ve always taught Amber that when she earns money, she gets to decide how to spend it. Apparently that doesn’t sit well with her uncle.”
Sources close to Wolf believe that despite the war of words, the end may be in sight. The Governor is open to allowing the card to go into effect without his signature if Amber maintains a B average and finally writes a thank you note for the sweater he got her for Christmas.
In the meantime Wolf has authorized the Treasury Department to continue to fund Amber’s music lessons until a formal agreement is reached.