Wolf vetoes stopgap spending package
Pennsylvania is still without a plan to pay for government operations after Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a Republican-crafted short-term spending measure.
Wolf vetoed the three-bill package Tuesday, saying it would sell out the people of Pennsylvania to oil and gas companies and special interests, increase the state government's deficit and harm its credit rating.
Top Republicans in the Senate say they are deeply troubled by Gov. Tom Wolf's veto of a short-term spending plan.
In a statement Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati accused the first-term Democrat of holding schools and social services hostage in budget talks.
Republicans say their $11 billion, four-month spending package would have ended unnecessary hardships while budget talks continue. Democrats opposed it.
Wolf wants a multibillion-dollar tax increase to wipe out Republican funding cuts for schools and human services and to eliminate a long-term budget deficit. He also wants measures to cut residential school property taxes and impose a severance tax on the natural gas industry.
But Republicans say most Pennsylvanians can't afford the tax increase, and they're pressing Wolf to overhaul benefits in Pennsylvania's two big public employee pension systems and to privatize the state-controlled wine and liquor system.
On June 30, the governor vetoed a $30.2 billion budget package passed June 30 by Republicans who control both chambers of the Legislature. No Democratic lawmakers voted for the GOP's budget bill or short-term spending measure.