By Gary Fleming | PA Wing News
Members of the PA Wing
Governor Wolf line item’ed vetoed portions of the spending bill which was sent to him. According to his statement, his line item veto was designed to get funding to human services and get emergency funding to schools but he disapproved portions of the budget spending plan because the overall budget was not balanced and it failed to restore funding to education per the budget framework that was previously agreed to by all parties. Specifically, he stated: “I am disapproving the unbalanced nature of this budget and its cuts to education funding.” His statement also said: “Unfortunately, I am compelled to veto some or all of the funding for several appropriations for several meritorious programs in order to maintain the Commonwealth’s financial integrity.”
CAP funding was one of the items that was subjected to a line item veto. As I sifted through the vetoed items, there were a number of items that are commonly referred to as “legislative add backs”. In other words, over the years, budgets proposed by various Governors have not included these items, but the legislature has negotiated them back in as part of a final budget. I believe that CAP funding falls into that category. So, hopefully, we can get it in a final budget, and I will certainly continue to work toward that end. I wanted you to be aware of this situation.
Please contact your Representatives and Senators to have them to push for CAP to a “legislative add backs” into the final budget. This is still fluid so we all need to continue to work to get CAP into the final budget.
7/9/2015 HARRISBURG – Gov Tom Wolf’s full budget veto withholds nearly $13 billion in state funds from state agencies and state government service providers who are responsible for providing services ranging from educating children to assisting victims of rape and domestic violence.
House Appropriations Chairman William Adolph, Jr. (R-Delaware) said, “Gov Wolf’s veto was an overreaching knee-jerk reaction that unnecessarily withholds billions from service providers. His veto of funding for nonprofits, schools and social service providers to gain leverage in his quest for higher taxes is unfortunate and will negatively affect innocent people and organizations.”
State law and case law dictates certain obligations will still be honored even if there is no spending authority granted by the General Assembly through a General Appropriations Act. Salaries for state employees, debt service payments and expenditures required for the health and safety of Commonwealth residents will still be paid during Wolf’s budget standoff.
The House Appropriations Committee completed an analysis of all state spending to determine what payments would be in jeopardy if Wolf’s budget standoff continued for an extended period of time.
“Our analysis shows that nearly $13 billion will not be distributed to state agencies and state government service providers that deal with all types of services ranging from fighting poverty, combating hunger, helping crime victims and supporting cancer research if Gov Wolf’s budget standoff would continue for an extended period,” said Adolph.
As an alternative to a complete budget veto, the governor had the ability to exercise a line-item veto and “blue line” specific appropriations where there continues to be disagreement.