Supporting the Budget Veto Override Effort

Responding to growing pleas from schools, counties, municipalities, agencies and social service programs to release overdue state and federal funding, I supported an effort on Wednesday to override Governor Wolf’s veto of an emergency funding budget passed last month by the General Assembly.

Let me be very clear, this emergency funding bill would in no way hinder ongoing budget negotiations, in fact it could help them.

The override, which fell three votes short, would have provided desperately needed funding while negotiations continue on a final budget agreement.  The override required a two-thirds majority, or 33 votes.  While all 30 Republican Senators voted for the measure, the emergency funding veto override vote received no Democrat support.

This was a missed and needed opportunity to move beyond partisan politics and be responsive to the people of Pennsylvania by providing essential support to schools, counties, municipalities, agencies and social service programs that are finding themselves in dire financial straits as a result of the prolonged budget impasse.

The vote marked the fifth time since June 30 that the legislature has attempted to have a fiscally responsible budget enacted and keep money flowing to schools, counties, municipalities, agencies and social service programs.

The state continues to collect taxes, so there is no reason that we should not be distributing that revenue. This is the first time in 40 years that an entire budget has been vetoed by a governor, so even federal pass through funding is not being distributed. Instead of holding students and safety net programs hostage, there needs to be a commitment to work together and move Pennsylvania forward.

Contact:
Chris Yniguez
(717) 787-1322
cyniguez@pasen.gov