YORK, Pa. — Governor Tom Wolf invoked one of sports’ all-time greats in talking about his state budget proposal on Wednesday.
“We are at a fork in the road,” Wolf said of the 29-day budget stalemate between he and Pennsylvania Republicans, before continuing, “But not like the one that Yogi Berra was talking about, ‘When you’re at a fork in the road, take it.'”
Wolf’s reference to the New York Yankees Hall of Fame catcher gathered a roomful of laughs at the York Rotary Club luncheon where the Governor was a guest speaker. However, nearly one month into the state budget impasse, there has not been any indication from Republicans or Democrats in the Pennsylvania General Assembly a new budget is coming shortly.
“The people of Pennsylvania did vote for divided government, but they did not vote for dysfunctional government,” Wolf said.
Governor Wolf’s speech to the York Rotary Club focused on his proposed budget, which GOP lawmakers voted down prior to passing their own, only to be vetoed on Wolf’s desk.
“We can keep doing things the way we’ve been doing things which haven’t been working,” Wolf said to the crowd which featured local politicians, club members, and other guests, “Or we can make the commonwealth a more sustainable future.”
At the center of Wolf’s inaugural budget is a plan to increase education funding to $1 billion. In order to do so, Wolf’s budget indicates an increase on taxing Pennsylvania’s natural gas industries. However, with no budget in place as school district faculties begin to start a new school year, state education currently has no future funding.
“It may take a little longer to get there,” Wolf said. “There may be some temporary inconvenience to get to a place where all schools, all human services, are in a better place.”
Of the political guests at Wednesday’s Rotary Club lunch included State Representative Scott Wagner (R-York), a vocal critic of the Governor’s administration. Wagner was a guest of the Rotary Club.
“This governor is not telling people the truth,” Wagner said. “He is out focused on the severance tax. That money is not going towards our kids. That money is going to go towards alternative energy. I’m not going to sit still while he insults me and my colleagues saying we didn’t send him a budget.”
Wolf spokesman Jeff Sheridan responded to Wagner’s comments by saying, “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
Wolf told reporters following his speech he met with GOP leadership to discuss the budget Wednesday morning, despite the governor saying his father suffered a “small heart attack” earlier in the day. Wolf also spent part of the Wednesday morning with his father in the hospital, and said he was planning on returning to see his father as soon as he left the Rotary Club.