Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf expressed optimism that he can reach a compromise with the House and Senate leaders regarding the state budget.
The governor is engaged in on-going budget negotiations with House and Senate leaders. They made progress over the weekend.
In a statement, Gov. Wolf said he spoke with the leaders of both chambers to try to finalize the budget that protects investments and programs important to Pennsylvania.
“We made progress, and with more work, I believe we can reach a compromise in the coming days,” said the governor.
Pennsylvania is at risk of facing a credit downgrade
Additionally, Gov. Wolf said his administration will work with the House and the Senate in considering all ideas to finish the budget. He is confident a vote is possible before October 1 if there us a commitment from all parties and they reach a concession.
He remains remains enthusiastic with the budget negotiations and hopes to unite any remaining differences over the next few days.
According to him, Pennsylvania is at risk of facing credit downgrade and further disruption in important programs and payment. Finishing the bipartisan work on a consensus and responsible budget is necessary as soon as possible.
Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal
Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal will save more than $2 billion by cutting waste, divesting state property, and making government more efficient. He wants to consolidate four agencies to create a streamlined Department of Health and Humans services (HHS) to serve Pennsylvanians better.
His budget proposal protects the investments of Pennsylvania in economy and education. He is seeking $75 million new funding for early childhood education. He is also asking for $125 million and $8.9 million in new funding for basic & special education and higher education, respectively.
Gov. Wolf believes that Pennsylvania will not get ahead if the schools fall behind.
The governor’s budget plan also preserves services for senior citizens and the intellectually disabled. It will expand programs to fight heroine and opioid addiction.
Furthermore, his administration is not proposing broad-based tax increases. It is seeking to close corporate tax loopholes, and end special treatment for big businesses. It will rebuild the middle class.