Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced his decision to implement additional measures to manage the state budget.
On Monday, Gov. Wolf said he will monetize a major state asset to ensure payments to schools, health service providers, and other government agencies.
According to the governor, the state will start accepting proposals to execute a lease-leaseback agreement for the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center.
Under this arrangement, Pennsylvania will retain control of the property while using its value. It will also allow the state to provide funding for school districts and other government entities.
Pennsylvania plans to lease the property to a private entity for 29 years for approximately $200 million. That is the fair market value of the property. At the same time, the private entity will lease back the property to the commonwealth for the same term with annual rental payment based on a negotiated interest.
Multiple agencies including the Department of Agriculture will take part in the review process for proposals.
The move comes after the governor offered a budget compromise plan with severance tax to the Republican-controlled legislature.
Gov. Wolf says he needs to take action
In a statement, Gov. Wolf explained, “The failure to finalize and responsibly balance the budget means I must take action.” According to him, he needs to make sure that Pennsylvania “can honor the commitments approved on June 30 by the General Assembly.”
The governor added that the additional action allows state to complete its payments to local school districts, and other important services like child care.
Gov. Wolf stressed, “Pennsylvanians, especially our kids and most vulnerable, should not bear the consequences of House Republicans’ inaction.”
Furthermore, he encouraged the House to pass a common sense shale tax to resolve the state’s structural deficit.
“I continue to urge the House to pass a commonsense shale tax to address the structural deficit.”
Last Wednesday, Gov. Wolf said he “had enough of the games” after the House Republicans failed to deliver a budget agreement. He noted that the GOP lawmakers would rather see him fail than Pennsylvania succeeds.