The latest spat in Harrisburg’s budget back-and-forth is not about taxes or spending — it’s about words.
More specifically, since Gov. Tom Wolf has approved a partial spending plan for Pennsylvania, is the six-month budget impasse over?
“It means that we have a budget in place — it does,” said House GOP spokesman Steve Miskin. “There’s a budget in place right now.”
“That’s one of the more ridiculous things I’ve heard,” said Jeff Sheridan, Wolf’s spokesman. “The Republican Legislature still has not passed the revenue to pay for anything. The general appropriations bill that they sent us was half a billion dollars out of balance.”
In late December, Wolf struck parts of the budget lawmakers sent to his desk. The partial veto made deep cuts to funding for education, state prisons, health care, and other items.
Republican leaders say they don’t know if they’ll let the governor’s cuts stand or if they’ll approve additional funding. School districts have warned that the partial funding might not be enough to get them through the rest of the academic year.
The governor has yet to receive many budget-related pieces of legislation, including a fiscal code (which fills in some of the details of the spending plan) and funding for state-related universities (which was blocked by House Democrats who protested that the spending hadn’t been covered).
Wolf has not received a tax plan to pay for the spending approved by the Legislature. After he used his line-item veto power to make cuts, top GOP lawmakers said a tax plan would be unnecessary.