Facts don’t support Wolf’s claims of budget stonewalling

We’ve heard a lot in the past month and half about the Legislature’s unwillingness to work with Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration regarding the state budget.

The facts don’t support that sound bite.

Of the 401 line items in the state budget, the Legislature funding on 274 on them equaled or exceeded what Gov. Wolf wanted.

That includes just about all of the human services agencies that are hit the hardest by state budget delays.

The Legislature sent Wolf a budget, on time, that included agreement on all those line items. The governor could have approved that portion of the budget, continuing the funding to them, and left the remaining items of the budget for negotiation. Health and human services providers would not have been forced to borrow money to keep doors open.

He chose instead to veto the budget and has been on a campaign-like tour criticizing the Legislature’s role in the budget stalemate ever since.

We haven’t heard him address the option of approving most of the budget on time at any of his stops.

He could still ask for a partial budget from the lawmakers that encompasses the 274 items of agreement and we suspect it would be approved in days.

We hope he does just that.

If the impasse remains through the month, we hope the Legislature overrides his veto and passes legislation involving the bulk of the budget so that health and human services providers are not further penalized over politics.

In the meantime, it’s important that the public knows this governor has had every opportunity to keep operations running smoothly and normally throughout this situation and that the Legislature funded most of the budget to the level he desired or above. We can’t read his mind, but we can interpret choices and the governor has chosen the political route to budget maneuvering.