PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Gov. Tom Wolf acknowledged that the Republican-controlled state legislature might miss a June 30 deadline to pass a state budget.
“If the past is any guide, we will skirt right up against the deadline and maybe go beyond it,” Wolf said in Pittsburgh at a press conference on Wednesday.READ MORE: Allegheny Co. Executive Rich Fitzgerald Says Amazon Air Is First-Class Deal For Pittsburgh International Airport
That certainly was true when Ed Rendell was governor with a Republican legislature, but Wolf hopes for something different, he told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
Delano: “Is there something going on behind the scenes? Can you report any kind of progress on a budget agreement?”
Wolf: “Well, this is my first budget, so this is new for me. But I’m doing everything I can to bring this in on time.”
Wolf says he continues to meet regularly with Republican legislators.
“I’ve been having breakfasts, lunches, dinners,” he said. “I’ve been dropping in on legislators. I want to push this conversation as quickly as I can because Pennsylvania really can’t wait. We need to get moving.”
Wolf says his budget proposal to increase education funding and cut property taxes is popular with taxpayers and should be popular with Republicans.READ MORE: CDC Says Vaccinated People Can Go Maskless In Most Places, But Some Businesses Still Require It
And he says if they have an alternative plan to meet the same goals, propose it.
“Maybe they’re just thinking of some ways to improve what I proposed,” Gov. Wolf said. “But I think we all want the same thing and that’s what gives me some sense, some heart, that we are going to actually end up with a budget sooner, I’m hoping, rather than later.”
But don’t include any plan to sell off the state liquor stores.
Delano: “Is privatization of the state store system on the table?”
Wolf: “Not as far as I am concerned.”
As for calls from some that Attorney General Kathleen Kane should resign, Wolf says that’s premature.
“I think we all ought to let the legal process play out. Give her her day in court,” he said.MORE NEWS: Christian Ross Facing Arson Charges In Massive Fire That Destroyed Historic South Side Building