Tom Wolf’s Disastrous First Year: Wolf’s Costliest Decision Of All

HARRISBURG — In anticipation of Tom Wolf’s anniversary as Governor, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania is taking a look back on some of the major issues that occurred during his first year in office.

Today, we highlight Governor Tom Wolf’s costly decision to veto the entire budget passed by the General Assembly, plunging Pennsylvania into an over six-month budget impasse.

“In June, Tom Wolf made the costliest decision of his political career when he issued a complete veto of a budget that funded nearly seventy percent of items at his desired levels. Because of Tom Wolf’s decision to issue a complete budget veto, Pennsylvania’s schools and social services were plunged into an unnecessary and irresponsible budget crisis that put Pennsylvanians’ jobs, education and even safety at risk. Three months later, Wolf once again blocked emergency funds for schools and social services. Tom Wolf let Pennsylvania’s school districts and non-profit organizations suffer for six months because he wanted to use them as pawns in his political game, and his actions were the biggest failure of his Administration.” — PA GOP Communications Director Megan Sweeney

Tom Wolf’s Costliest Decision

Wolf vetoed the entire budget that was passed by the legislature on the night of the deadline, forcing Pennsylvania into a partial government shutdown. (Angela Couloumbis and Madison Russ, “Wolf vetoes entire GOP budget, says ‘math doesn’t work’,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/2/2015)

  • Wolf vetoed the budget even though 274 out of 401 line-item appropriations in the Republican budget were funded at the same or higher levels than his proposal. (“Putting an End to the ‘Raise Your Taxes’ Campaign,” Office of Representative Michael Regan, 8/17/2015)

After continuing to obstruct efforts to get money to schools and social service providers, Tom Wolf finally admitted that social service providers would “probably” take out loans. (Marc Levy, “Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf acknowledges service providers may have to borrow money,” Associated Press, 7/25/2015)

In late September, Tom Wolf vetoed an effort by Republican lawmakers to provide emergency funding for school districts and non-profit organizations. (Christian Alexandersen, “Surprising no one, Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed GOP-crafted stopgap budget,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, 9/29/2015)

  • When Wolf was asked about his plans after vetoing a stopgap budget, Wolf responded “I want a fight.” (Tweet by Pete Muntean, 9/29/15)

Without critical state funding, Huntingdon House in Huntingdon and the Women’s Center in Bloomsburg had to relocate domestic violence victims currently being sheltered by them, and two other shelters had to stop taking in new arrivals. (“2 domestic violence shelters closing because of budget stalemate,” WTAE, 11/1/2015)

  • “Although funding for victim services is universally agreed upon, the budget impasse has resulted in ZERO dollars — not state nor federal, which must be passed through the state — to fund these critical services since July 1.” (Jenny Murphy-Shifflet, “Budget impasse imperils services,” Pottsville Republican-Herald, 10/3/2015)

The stoppage of state funds caused the Community Progress Council of York County to shut down for three weeks. (Ben Allen, “York nonprofit to close for 3 weeks because of state budget crisis,” WITF, 11/5/2015)

School districts from across the Commonwealth also ran into cash-flow problems due to Tom Wolf’s budget crisis. (“Estimated Stop Gap Education Payments,” Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee, 9/23/2015)

In late December, Governor Tom Wolf signed a partial budget which released partial funds for schools and social services, saying they should no longer be held “hostage.” (Natasha Lindstrom and Donald Gilliland, “Gov. Wolf vetoes Republican budget, will release funds for schools,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 12/29/2015)