Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said he will veto the Republican spending budget that passed through both the state House of Representatives and Senate Wednesday.
“In its current form, I will veto this budget, and I urge Republicans in the legislature to stop the partisan games and come back to the table to negotiate a final budget that funds our schools and eliminates the nearly $2 billion deficit. I look forward to working with both parties in the legislature to finally end this impasse, fix our schools, and eliminate the deficit” he said.
Senate Republicans passed the $6 billion budget 31-18, with just one Democrat supporting the legislation. Republicans said the budget is designed to resolve a the eight month impasse that have left schools, universities and hospitals without funding. Temple, which is a non-preferred appropriation, is dealing with a $175 million deficit due to the impasse. The university is out nearly $150 million and Temple hospital has a $26 million shortfall.
“Governor Wolf understands the importance of funding education at all levels, including the state-related universities, but the math has not changed so he will veto these bills. We simply do not have the money for these appropriations, and unfortunately, it has become common practice for Harrisburg to refuse to pay the bills it has racked up on the taxpayer’s credit card” said Governor Wolf’s Press Secretary Jeffrey Sheridan.
Temple University has been taking steps over the past several weeks to urge lawmakers to pass the budget. President Neil Theobald said in a email that he asked Temple students to write their legislators asking for funding, and received over 5,000 responses from members of the Temple community.
A Temple spokesman said that if Governor Wolf cannot pass the budget, then the university will take extra initiative to reach out to the Governor’s office.
Governor Wolf, however, called the budget “irresponsible and unbalanced” saying that it “does not fund our schools or fix the deficit.”
The state is facing an approximate $2 billion deficit and Wolf is proposing a $2.7 billion tax increase to wipe out the deficit, which will increase spending for schools. Republicans oppose the idea of a tax increase.
Wolf is proposing a $2.7 billion tax increase to wipe it out and boost school spending. Republican leaders oppose it.