PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio1020 KDKA/AP) – Gov. Tom Wolf is standing firm on his position as the nine-month budget impasse continues without an end in sight.
“I continue to do what I have been doing all along, which is to stand up for a responsible budget. [The one Republicans have passed] isn’t,” Wolf said during an interview on the “KDKA Morning News.”
As the budget stalemate drags on, Wolf has received pressure from some of his own party’s lawmakers to back off his veto threats and at least approve enough aid to keep schools open.
Wolf says he understands the pressure school districts and other organizations are feeling.
“[The] point is not to create gratuitous pain here. It’s to say if we don’t get this right, this is just a very mild preview of what’s going to be happening in 2016-17. The math has to work out, it has not worked out,” Wolf said.
Wolf met privately with House and Senate Democratic leaders in the Capitol on Monday amid doubt over whether the veto of a $6.6 billion package could withstand an override vote in a gridlock-weary Legislature.
Rather, Democrats say they have urged Wolf to do a “blue line,” or partial, veto.
The budgets that have been passed by the Republican lawmakers according to Wolf, do not balance.
“That’s not me talking, that’s the Standard and Poor’s, Fitch, Moody’s [all] the outside ratings agencies…alerting all of us that we have a huge deficit staring us in the face starting July 1,” Wolf said.
Wolf said he is “willing to compromise,” but what he cannot compromise on is the math.
“If there is a $300 million hole in this budget and a $2 billion or so in the one that we’re facing looking ahead, that starts on July 1, how do you compromise on that?” he said.
Listen to the KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.
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