Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a short-term Pennsylvania funding package on Tuesday.
It was no surprise. The governor had pledged to kill the interim budget during a fiery press conference nearly two weeks ago. He had derided it as an ill-suited solution to the state’s long-term problems. In a written statement Tuesday, Wolf called the stopgap budget a product of “political posturing and blatant obstruction” by Republican legislative leaders.
It was a continuation of remarks the governor made on Pittsburgh’s KDKA-AM radio Tuesday morning.
“I think we want a real budget and I think the only things standing between us and a real budget are the Republican leaders,” said Wolf. Later, he added that he is working toward a compromise with Republicans.
“I’m willing to do what I have to do in this divided government to make that work,” said Wolf, “but I cannot concede to people who just want to blow things up.”
The interim budget passed the Legislature last week. The $11 billion package unlocked fourth months’ worth of funding for all programs supported by state government. Republicans called it a means to advance funding to “vital services,” such as schools and social services that have been cut off from state funding since July. They said it would stop the pain of the months-long impasse as negotiations continued.
One legislative aide suggested that Wolf doesn’t want the pain of the present stalemate to disappear because doing so would hurt his administration’s bargaining position.
“This is about leverage,” said House GOP spokesman Steve Miskin. “If it wasn’t, he would sign the emergency funding right away.”