Ten Reasons Why Gov. Wolf Should Veto the Republican Budget

Stephen Herzenberg |

Gov. Wolf should veto the Republican budget because it would:

Gov. Wolf should veto the Republican budget because it would:

  • Bankrupt K-12 schools. Public schools would receive a miserly $8 million increase – spread over the 3,287 schools in Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts.
  • Deny hard-pressed Pennsylvania seniors, families and communities property tax relief.
  • Force state universities to hike tuition and college students to incur more debt.  The budget’s higher education funding increase is less than projected inflation; at this rate the state may never restore the real level of higher education funding before Gov. Corbett’s first cuts.
  • Maintain Pennsylvania as the only extraction state foolish enough not to enact a commonsense severance tax.
  • Add to Pennsylvania’s debt and further lower the state’s bond rating. One-time gimmicks mean the Republican budget would come up $1 billion short this year and $3+ billion short next year, which would lead to more downgrades of Pennsylvania’s debt.
  • Fail to invest in job creation and “upskilling” of Pennsylvania workers.
  • Continue to starve county-run human services programs.
  • Only take care of Republican lawmakers’ priorities and interests – pension changes that slash retirement benefits, privatization of profitable state-run liquor stores, give $51 million more in funding to the legislature (but only $36 million for higher education) and more money for the Commonwealth Financing Authority, over which legislators have veto power – but turn a blind eye to the people’s priorities – education funding and a tax on natural gas drillers. .
  • Ignore the Governor’s detailed budget proposal on the table for four months now, and replace it with an extreme, one-sided and uncompromising plan conceived in secret and hurriedly passed without input from the Governor or the public.
  • Prolong a course that is not working by mercilessly clinging to a cuts-only, “no new taxes” approach that is stalling Pennsylvania’s economic recovery.

*(For more detail and sources, see PBPC’s detailed analysis of the Republican budget).