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BLOG: Governor Wolf Rejects GOP Budget That Cuts Education (ROUND-UP)

By: Beth Melena, Directer of Operations

December 30, 2015

Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf rejected the Republican budget that cuts $95 million from education and is out-of-balance, while directing emergency funding for key services. Last week, Republican leaders walked away from a historic bipartisan budget agreement and passed an irresponsible budget so they could return home to their districts and take holiday vacations.

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Check out what editorial pages had to say:

Philadelphia Inquirer: Editorial Board: Toying with state budget

“Legislators who say they are being fiscally responsible are proposing budget gimmicks such as not paying bills on time, which would deepen the deficit. Anyone with basic arithmetic skills can figure out the truth. That includes Wall Street, which by lowering the state’s credit rating has increased the state’s debt service costs.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/30/15]

Philadelphia Daily News: Editorial Board: BUDGET MAKES NO $EN$E

“To begin with, the budget the Republican Legislature passed last week and left on the governor’s desk was as phony as a three-dollar bill. The $30.3 billion budget pretended to be balanced, but it was not. It exceeded available revenue by $300 million. It pretended to fund all vital state services, but it did not. The Legislature sort of forgot to include $550 million in state support for Temple, Pitt and Penn State. The budget pretended to increase state funding for education, but it did not. It added more money to the basic education subsidy, while taking away a $304 million item to help school district’s pay construction and repair bills. The net result is that the state’s districts would get a cut in state aid.” [Philadelphia Daily News, 12/30/15]

Times-Tribune: Editorial Board: Unbalanced, unacceptable

“The bill does not move the state government or the state itself forward by even an inch. It leaves unresolved the most pressing needs facing the government and the people it is supposed to serve: adequate education funding, property tax reform, public pension reform, economic development and job creation. It will not methodically eliminate a structural state deficit. It will not reverse the credit downgrades that rating agencies have placed on many school districts statewide. And it will not cover the more than $900 million that districts already have had to borrow to stay in business.” [Times-Tribune, 12/30/15]

Public Opinion: An unfinished, unbalanced state budget

“We refer to the institutions like Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s that set the state’s credit ratings. Multiple agencies have downgraded the state’s borrowing ability due to the budget impasse and revenue gimmicks that don’t add up…..Until we get a serious explanation and solution from the GOP, absent the rhetoric and one that we can all understand, we have to conclude that lawmakers are prioritizing party politics over the state’s future.” [Public Opinion, 12/30/15]

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