PA Gov Wolf “Acts” to Finalize the State Budget, No Severance Tax

Attempting to bluster his way through an epic fail to get a budget agreement done, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf tried to lay the blame for a late budget on House Republicans, for their refusal to pass a severance tax. Yesterday Wolf unilaterally acted to plug a budget deficit (to fill the gap in a wildly overspent budget) by borrowing $1.25 billion from the state’s Liquor Control Board, from future liquor revenue payments. Playing politics, Wolf laid blame on Republicans in the House, saying he has “had enough of the games” and is “drawing a line in the sand.” Wolf’s willingness to act unilaterally by borrowing against future liquor revenues appeared to have stunned Republicans in the House, who rightly ask this question: If Wolf could have acted unilaterally like this to pull forward revenue and plug the gap, why didn’t he do it a month ago to prevent a downgrade in PA’s credit rating? That’s a great question. So who’s really playing politics with the people of PA? Wolf’s official statement belies his petulant, crybaby attitude in not getting his own way with a Marcellus-killing severance tax. Wolf held out hope that traitorous Republicans in the Senate could bully House Republicans into accepting a severance tax. Wolf lost that political gamble and he now must scramble to try and cover his political backside before the next election. Wolf’s base of far-left Philadelphia teachers won’t be happy. Wolf couldn’t get a severance tax passed in his first four years in office–so why expect he can in the next four? Wolf’s future as governor is now on life support–thanks to principled House Republicans who held the line and refused to cave to the pressure. So for now, the budget battle has ended. It’s over. Yes, a few more things need to get done, but the pressure is off. You might as well say the budget for this year is a done deal, WITHOUT a severance tax!…

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