Bizzarro: Governor’s line-item veto a start, but budget far from finished

ERIE, Dec. 29 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today echoed Gov. Tom Wolf’s call for the legislature to return to session, in light of the governor’s line-item veto of a $30.3 billion budget plan passed by the Senate last week.

“By using his constitutional line-item veto authority to substantially scale back more than 100 appropriation lines, Pennsylvania is still without a responsible budget that fully funds our schools, human service and public safety programs,” Bizzarro said. “Simply put: The math just doesn’t add up. It is that simple. The budget sent to the governor is not balanced and will grow the commonwealth’s multi-billion-dollar deficit. This budget spends $30.3 billion without the sufficient revenues to pay for it, and if any governor signed this bill, regardless of their political party affiliation, the commonwealth would end the year over a half-billion dollars out of balance.

"Last week, the speaker of the House decided to adjourn and send lawmakers home, instead of staying to pass a compromise plan that would’ve ended the impasse,” Bizzarro added. “We need to return to work and finally pass a responsible budget that works for our state.”

Wolf today announced he will line-item veto parts of the budget, including education cuts. In the meantime, he is authorizing the release of emergency funding for key services like schools and human service providers.

“While I’m grateful these important programs will get the resources they need to help our students and most vulnerable neighbors, I’m disappointed it’s come to this,” Bizzarro said. “Once again, a part of the legislature, however small, is playing politics with the health and well-being of our citizens. Enough is enough. We still have a lot of work to do to ensure we fund our schools, fix our structural deficit, and get our state back on sound fiscal footing -- and there are many ways to achieve this.”