Wolf Will Veto Prison Funding, Send the Money Anyway
In a bizarre news twist, Gov. Tom Wolf is threatening to veto a bill because…well, reasons. According to the AP:
Democratic Governor Tom Wolf says he will veto legislation passed by the state House to restore nearly $1 billion for state prisons.
The Wolf administration says payments for prison costs will continue, regardless of the veto.
- To recap, Gov. Wolf line item vetoed more than $900 million in funding for prisons—nearly half of the entire Corrections budget.
- Wolf asked the State Treasurer to release that funding anyway.
- The House passed a bill to restore the funding.
- Wolf is promising to veto that funding again.
- Wolf is saying Treasury will send the money anyway, regardless of the veto.
It's a mystery why Wolf would choose to veto Corrections funding that was agreed to as part of the budget framework.
On Monday of this week, the Senate held a hearing about the Governor's ability to fund programs without legislative approval—or even after he disapproved the funding.
The conclusion—that the Treasurer believes in areas affecting the “health, safety, and welfare” of the commonwealth, the governor can indeed spend beyond what has been approved—was baffling to many lawmakers.
Indeed, it would seem to threaten our constitutional balance of powers. If this is the case, why bother to have a state budget at all?