“The nine-month-long Pennsylvania budget impasse is over.
In a news conference on Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf said he won’t block Republicans’ $6.6 billion no-new-taxes spending package.
“To allow us to move on from the problems that have plagued 2015-16, I am going to allow this bill to become law,” he said.But while making the announcement, the Democrat criticized the Republican-penned spending plan, saying “This budget doesn’t work. The math doesn’t work, and that’s a real problem. But we need to keep our commonwealth working.”
“I’m asking the legislature to work with me to do the right thing, to work towards a responsible, and balanced, budget in 2016-17,” he continued.
His announcement came as Democratic lawmakers urged him to release money to keep schools and agricultural extension offices across Pennsylvania from closing.
The budget delivers a $200 million boost to public school aid, half of what Wolf originally sought. But he insists crucial state services face cutbacks next year without a tax increase to wipe out a long-term deficit.
The sides now have to negotiate a new, election-year budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.”