Wolf’s points on key budget blockages knowingly incomplete
As the state budget stalemate drones on, Gov. Tom Wolf’s side of the argument gets thinner by the day.
We are all for the Legislature working with the rookie governor to craft a budget based on compromise and consensus.
But that doesn’t mean the governor gets to accuse lawmakers of budget gimmicks while he himself is not coming clean on the guts of his budget proposal. At a certain point, lawmakers get tired of hearing what they know is not the truth.
That point apparently was reached in Lewisburg last week, where lawmakers expressed dissatisfaction toward the impasse that they say Gov. Wolf has created through his unwillingness to compromise.
They pointed to Wolf’s knowingly incomplete outlining of his gas severance tax and school funding budget proposals.
When the governor speaks of increasing funding to public schools, he has to know that under his proposal, 32 percent of the new funding would go to Philadelphia schools, which the other 499 school districts would split the remaining 68 percent.
When he says Pennsylvania is the only state that does not have a gas severance tax, he has to know it’s also the only state that has a gas impact fee paid for by the industry to benefit directly the communities most affected by the drilling.
The job of the Legislature, the governor and the administration is to craft a state budget based on the facts as they are and fairness to all Pennsylvanians.
This is not supposed to be the continuation of a political campaign.
This also not supposed to be about scoring a political win.
This budget is supposed to be the basis for future trust among the governor, the Legislature and the people of Pennsylvania. That trust is being ripped apart each day as the budget impasse continues and, to date, the governor’s sleight of hand in describing the situation is the chief culprit.