HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Gov. Tom Wolf says he’s vetoing parts of a $30.3 billion budget that legislators approved before their holiday vacation, but he’s releasing more than $23.3 billion in emergency funding so schools and human services agencies.
Republican legislators who represent central Pennsylvania say they’re happy that schools and critical programs will get the money they need to stay open, but they said Wolf could have signed a budget six months ago and they’re vowing to fight any tax increases.
The following statements were released by local lawmakers:
“Claiming that the budget proposal ‘doesn’t add up’ or is ‘out of balance’ is completely absurd and nonsensical given the fact that work is still ongoing on various Code bills. Much like the budget he vetoed on June 30, he has apparently decided to vehemently oppose it before he actually read it.”
— Senator Rich Alloway (R-33)
“The governor needlessly vetoed the entire budget that the House and Senate sent to him in June for no reason other than to create political pawns to leverage for higher taxes on Pennsylvanians. The governor has finally come to a realization that he was hurting people for no reason. Unfortunately, the damage that he has already done will have long-term effects.”
— Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York)
“The governor showed a shocking amount of anger during today’s press conference, but the time for this level of vitriol and his continued campaign rhetoric has come and gone. He finally needs to realize that hard-working, middle-class Pennsylvanians have no appetite for the taxes he wants.”
— State Reps. Seth Grove, Kate Klunk, Kristin Phillips-Hill, and Mike Regan; (R-York)
“The portions of the budget vetoed today by Gov. Wolf are a blueprint for proper fiscal stewardship that generously funded our priorities without the need for higher broad-based taxes. Although this budget had Democrat support, the governor remains unwilling to accept anything less than his demands. He lacks the ability to govern in a reasonable, bipartisan manner.”
— Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin)
“While I respect the governor’s authority to line-item veto a budget bill, his trash talk against this responsible and affordable spending plan is counterproductive and, I believe, disrespectful to our taxpayers. Within minutes of the end of the governor’s press conference, I was receiving emails and phone calls from the people I represent, asking me to continue to stand firm against the governor’s call for massive, broad-based tax increases. And I intend to do that.”
— Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin)
“This governor has already inflicted so much unnecessary pain and expense by his refusal to compromise on anything, and we’re already six months into the 2015-16 fiscal year. I urge the governor to drop his misguided insistence on hiking taxes and spending. Our Commonwealth needs to move on. We should be discussing and planning next year’s budget instead of refighting battles over a budget year that’s now half over.”
— Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland)