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LETTER: Blame Gov. Wolf for budget impasse
It appears that newspaper editorial departments across the state are offering their opinion on the Pennsylvania state budget. Let me set the record straight — the Legislature met its obligation to pass a balanced budget by the constitutionally required deadline.
The budget sent to Gov. Tom Wolf on June 30 included $1 billion more for spending than the previous budget. Gov. Wolf chose to veto a budget that was balanced, did not raise taxes and provided increased education funding. Notably, two-thirds of the line items were funded at or above the amount that the governor requested.
Gov. Wolf had the power to use what is called a line-item veto — he could have approved approximately 270 items, and he could have vetoed the rest. Instead he has left organizations in our communities scrambling to stay afloat because he insists on a tax and spend budget that exacerbates the problem that I continue to call attention to — Harrisburg does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.
Gov. Wolf claimed during his political campaign that he turned around his family business, which meant reining in costs and reducing waste. Unfortunately, we haven't seen him show a willingness to perform his private sector business magic on Pennsylvania. Our state is financially distressed and needs a turnaround governor, not a tax-and0spend governor.
I take my role as a Pennsylvania state senator seriously. I serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee. I sat through 33 hearings on the budget covering 80 hours.
I have considerable private sector business experience. The various companies that I own, along with thousands of other businesses in Pennsylvania, continue to withhold weekly payroll taxes from employee paychecks and send those taxes to Harrisburg weekly along with other taxes the companies pay, so the cash flow to Harrisburg continues.
Let me be crystal clear — I will not be voting for any additional tax increases. I will continue to beat on the table demanding accountability for the taxes everyone already pays.
I would ask editorial writers to do everyone a favor and stop blaming the Legislature and point the blame to Gov. Wolf.
STATE SEN. SCOTT WAGNER
28th District York County