Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Gov. Wolf: House Rs Have To Finish The Budget, Sept. 15 State Will Run Out Of Money, Again

In remarks to the media Tuesday broadcast by PLS Reporter via Periscope, Gov. Wolf said the state will run out of money again on or about September 15 and said it is not a “responsible business plan” to continue to borrow money to keep the state going.
In response to a question about how dire the state’s fiscal condition is, Gov. Wolf said it isn’t dire if you think you can borrow unlimited amounts of money, but that isn’t responsible, “it’s not right.”
He said he takes his cues from the State Treasurer Joe Torsella and he said we should not assume Treasury will continue to backstop the General Fund unless a responsible revenue package is enacted.
Wolf also pointed to remarks made by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) Monday about not depending on borrowing. Sen. Scarnati also suggested the Governor put a freeze on state spending.
Wolf reiterated several times House Republicans need to come back to Harrisburg and finish the job, but he is not optimistic about them returning before the scheduled resumption of session on September 11.
“We’ve got to do the right thing and the right thing for taxpayers is to have the House Republicans to come back and get the job done,” Wolf said.
Wolf said again, “The other 4 of the 5 parties have agreed on what’s needed and now it’s up to House Republicans to finish the job.”  
Questioned about freezing spending on September 15, Gov. Wolf said he will do whatever he needs to do to deal with the budget.  Pressed, he said he doesn’t “want to alarm anybody” by announcing an amount of money he will freeze, in part, because that number changes from day to day.
With respect to permit “reforms” included in the Senate-passed budget package, Gov. Wolf said we need strict environmental regulations and businesses aren’t against environmental regulation.  I want DEP to consistently enforce environmental regulations.  If DEP can’t do it’s job, the way I interpret these reforms, they expect DEP will do its job.”
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