Governor Tom Wolf vetoed the Republican stopgap budget on Tuesday and called on Republican leadership to get serious about negotiating a final budget that moves the commonwealth forward. But Reed said Wolf does not have the 102 Democratic or Republican votes required to get the measures approved in the House.
House Minority Leader Frank Dermody put to rest Wednesday any idea that House Democrats would reject a challenge laid down by majority Republicans to make their case for Gov. Tom Wolf’s tax increase package.
The first-term Democrat defended his planned veto and his stance in negotiations as seeking a sound, long-term fiscal path versus a series of flawed, Washington, D.C.-style short-term fixes.
“I think the only thing standing between us and a real budget are Republican leaders”, Wolf said Tuesday during a regularly scheduled appearance on Pittsburgh radio station KDKA-AM. “With this vote, we will have a clear understanding of how much support the governor truly has for his tax and spending plans”.
Wolf wants a multibillion-dollar tax increase to wipe out Republican funding cuts for schools and human services and to eliminate a long-term budget deficit.
Wolf characterized the stalemate as a contest over “whether we want to govern ourselves or not” and warned that he “cannot concede to people who just want to blow things up”.
Wednesday’s tax challenge came as Pennsylvania closed its third month without an enacted budget.
“I said, ‘I’m a no on that bill, ‘” Petri said.
DePasquale says public school borrowing will surpass $500 million by November. 1 and $1 billion by December 1, if the stalemate continues that long.
“I’m willing to compromise”, Wolf said Tuesday. The new plan comes a day after Wolf vetoed a Republican-backed temporary spending plan, saying it would increase the state’s deficit and harm its credit rating.
Wolf said he would begin approaching rank-and-file Republicans for individual conversations before next week’s vote to gather support for his proposals.
Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bucks, said it will be hard, but not impossible, for Wolf to woo enough Republicans to his side to pass both houses of the Legislature, where huge GOP majorities are in control. Instead, they have pressed Wolf to overhaul benefits in Pennsylvania’s two big public employee pension systems and to privatize the state-controlled wine and liquor store system. Reed referred to an early September proposal offered by Wolf during private budget negotiations. “It’s time we all find out who shares that vision”.