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Wolf takes to Twitter to address constituents’ concerns

Gov. Tom Wolf fielded about 20 questions Friday during a Twitter  town hall.(Emma Lee/WHYY)

Gov. Tom Wolf fielded about 20 questions Friday during a Twitter town hall.(Emma Lee/WHYY)

Gov. Tom Wolf turned his Twitter into a town hall Friday afternoon, dedicating an hour to answering Pennsylvanians’ questions about his budget proposal for the next fiscal year.

Wolf hadn’t done a Twitter town hall since 2015. This time, he fielded around 20 questions, tackling softballs like whether he supports public education — yes — and more complicated ones, like how he’ll reform Pennsylvania’s overburdened public pension system.

On that, Wolf said, much will depend on the legislature.

Another frequent concern was whether Wolf’s budget plan — which merges four major health agencies and promises to save over $2 billion in efficiencies — would lead to service cuts. The governor said it won’t, vowing instead that his changes would reduce bureaucratic red tape.

Conservative groups also took the opportunity to criticize Wolf’s plan for a billion-dollar tax increase, which largely targets corporations. Both the state GOP and the organization Americans for Prosperity Pennsylvania argued the proposal still calls for spending too much, despite its cuts and agency consolidations.

One question Wolf didn’t get to was whether he’ll move to legalize online gambling.

The budget proposal does count on $150 million from unidentified gaming revenues. But a similar $100 million gap in this year’s budget was never filled.

The governor is in the early stages of running for a second term, and his office said he’ll be doing more online town halls in the coming weeks.

 

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