Polls blames Pa. budget impasse on lawmakers


The majority of polled registered voters in Pennsylvania laid the blame for the budget impasse on the shoulders of lawmakers, according to a recently released Franklin & Marshall College poll.

Of the 605 voters — 298 Democrats, 228 Republicans and 79 Independents — only 29 percent said Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is to blame, while 54 percent said it's the Legislature's fault the state is without a budget two months after the June 30 deadline to pass one.

An additional 17 percent said they didn't know who's responsible for the impasse.

The Wolf administration and the GOP have locked horns over the budget. Wolf, who put forth his own $31.6 billion budget proposal, vetoed the Republican-drafted $30.2 billion budget nearly 9 weeks ago.

Locally: But not all York countians agree with the poll.

"It is not an either-or question. So tired of everyone blaming the other side," said Stacey Boyer of York County. "They must all learn to work together. Collaborative efforts produce the best results."

Molly Norton, 22, of York Township, said she agreed with the poll results, saying the GOP is at fault.

But Brett Jones, 21, of Loganville, said both the lawmakers and Wolf are responsible for not passing the budget.

"I think everybody's to blame. It's not just one side," he said. "I think it would be good to have a budget for the state."

Poll results from Franklin & Marshall have traditionally laid the blame of budget impasses on lawmakers instead of the governor.

Results: In 2007 and 2009, when then-Gov. Ed Rendell and lawmakers couldn't reach an agreement on the budget, the majority of polled voters said legislators were to blame for the impasse.

The most recent poll by the Lancaster college found that 42 percent of polled voters trust Wolf's decisions about the budget, slightly more than the 39 percent who trust lawmakers' decisions, according to the poll.

That's a reverse of history, as those polled traditionally said they trust the Legislature, rather than the sitting governor, when it comes to the budget.

Wolf also continued to fare well with his job-approval rating.

Seven percent of those polled said he's doing an excellent job, 32 percent said he's doing a good job, 34 percent he's doing a fair job, 17 percent said he's doing a poor job and 10 percent said they don't know, according to the poll.

The results nearly mirror previous results from June and March.

The poll has a nearly 4 percent margin of error.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.