Senator Scott Wagner: Stop Blaming the Legislature

It appears that newspaper editorial departments across the state are offering their opinion on the PA 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 Governor Wolf on June 30th included one billion dollars more for spending than the previous budget. Governor 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.

Governor Wolf had the power to use what is called a line-item veto – he could have approved approximately two hundred seventy 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.

Governor 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 and spend Governor.

I take my role as a PA State Senator seriously. I serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee. I sat through thirty-three hearings on the budget covering eighty 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 Governor Wolf.

CONTACT: Erin Marsicano, 717-787-3817, emarsicano@pasen.gov