Senator Scott Hutchinson issued the following statement after Governor Wolf announced Wednesday his intention to allow a Fiscal Year 2015-16 budget approved by the Legislature last week to become law without his signature or veto.
“By agreeing to allow this budget to be enacted into law, the Governor is finally committing much needed money to schools, higher education, and agricultural programs. It is way past time for us to finalize this budget, move beyond the past and look toward Pennsylvania’s future. However, I am disappointed that the Governor is expected to veto the accompanying Fiscal Code (House Bill 1327), which among other important provisions would provide essential regulatory protection for conventional gas and oil wells. Specifically, a section of the Fiscal Code would invalidate regulations on conventional oil and gas wells that were published after Nov. 30, 2013.”
House Bill 1801, as approved by the Senate on March 16, is a $30.031 billion spending plan that restores much of the $6 billion in funding for essential programs and services that were line-item vetoed by the Governor from the FY 2015-16 budget enacted last December. The budget includes the highest education spending in state history without the need for tax increases. Basic Education will see $5.95 billion in funding, an increase of $200 million from Fiscal Year 2014-15 including Ready-to-Learn Block Grant money. The total also represents a $50 million increase over the funding vetoed by the Governor. HB 1801 reverses the Governor’s line-item vetoes of funding for community colleges and the State System of Higher Education, while providing full funding for Pennsylvania’s state related universities: Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln. The bill provides funds to preserve programs such as agricultural extension and research and 4-H that were defunded by the Governor’s line-item vetoes.
Contact: Justin Leventry (717) 787-9684