Sunday, May 8, 2016

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe Lets the Fiscal Code Become Law

           Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe allowed a fiscal code bill for the Commonwealth to become law after the constitutionally-requisite period had passed without his signature, thereby recently completing the 2016 budget process ten months late. 

After the liberal Democrat had vetoed a fiscal code bill in late March, the majority-Republican General Assembly passed another fiscal code bill late last month, but this time with enough bipartisan support as to be able to override any gubernatorial veto.    

            Wolfe had finally relented and allowed a balanced budget bill for the Commonwealth to become law without his signature by early April, which ended a nine-month budget crisis after he had repeatedly vetoed or partially-vetoed earlier balanced budget bills since June of 2015 that did not raise taxes.  He had insisted on raising taxes to pay for even more spending than were appropriated, particularly for education, in the increased budgets the legislature had approved.  See my post from last month, Update on Pennsylvania’s Budget: Balanced without a Tax Increase: The Fiscal Code is a companion piece to the budget.  

           The new Fiscal Code includes a fairer funding formula for Pennsylvanias school districts, which takes enrollment into account.  It is expected to benefit poorer districts, which is often the opposite of the current formula.

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