HARRISBURG, March 23, 2016 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today sent a letter to Governor Tom Wolf urging him to blue-line veto the latest version of the Republican-crafted state budget to relieve financial stress on the public education, health care delivery and agriculture industries.
Blake, who serves as Democratic Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, stated that the budget included in House Bill 1801 was not a negotiated settlement between the General Assembly and the governor’s office and remains unbalanced by nearly $290 million. Additionally, Blake noted that the budget awaiting executive action includes $238 million less than a budget bill he opposed in December.
“I have had extensive conversations with my local school districts and realize the difficulty they face financially with an incomplete state budget,” Blake said. “The release of emergency funding through a blue-line veto to remove the short term crisis in our schools, our agricultural community and in our health care delivery system would be prudent and responsible.”
In December, Governor Wolf signed Act 10A which line-item vetoed $6.8 billion from the Republican passed budget but enabled partial funding to be released to schools, human service providers and other essential programs and services funded by the state.
“It is my hope that the governor understands the significant financial distress that our prolonged budget impasse has inflicted across the Commonwealth, particularly to our school districts, and again, uses his executive authority to responsibly release emergency funding to ensure that no Pennsylvania school will have to close,” Blake added. “I remain confident that we can put partisan differences aside in Harrisburg and seriously negotiate a two-year budget solution that will provide predictability and prosperity for our schools and our Commonwealth.
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