Today, Governor Tom Wolf released the following statement on his intention to allow House Bill 218 to become law without his signature:
“In February, I proposed a budget that balanced by implementing more than $2 billion in cuts, savings, and efficiencies and closing $1 billion in loopholes. For the past several months, Democrats and Republicans have had a robust conversation about our fiscal challenges. We worked in a bipartisan way to reform our pension system to protect taxpayers and employees, and set the commonwealth on a more responsible fiscal path.
“Working with both parties in the legislature, we passed a general appropriations bill that streamlined government by making more than $2 billion in cuts, invested more money in education at all levels, and continued our efforts to fight the heroin crisis.
“This budget invests $175 million in our schools, helps Pennsylvanians who need it the most like those with intellectual disabilities, and invests in key programs to create manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania, while allowing the commonwealth to team up with businesses and institutions of higher learning to create jobs and a strong workforce.
“And today, I am going to let this general appropriations bill become law without my signature in the hope that we can continue to work together on a sustainable budget solution that sets Pennsylvania on the right path.
“Just last week, we received a warning that if we did not do the hard work to balance our budget, Pennsylvania’s credit would be downgraded. This independent call to action made it clear we must avoid gimmicks to protect from a downgrade, as we have been able to do since I took office.
“As with pensions, many of the people currently in Harrisburg did not create this problem, but we must face this challenge and address it in a responsible way.
“In the coming days, it is my hope that the General Assembly will come together to pass a responsible solution to balance our books. There are many options available to balance the budget in the long-term like those I presented earlier this year. Our creditors and the people of Pennsylvania understand a responsible resolution must take real and necessary steps to improve Pennsylvania’s fiscal future.”