Governor Josh Shapiro - Bridge Burner or Builder?

Josh Shapiro: Bridge Builder or Bridge Burner?

Originally published in

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro may have fixed one bridge, but he’s burning others. While the governor brags about rebuilding the I-95 bridge in 12 days, Shapiro is learning that mending legislators’ and voters’ mistrust of him will be far more complicated.< Shapiro’s eagerness to take credit for fixing I-95 comes when he seeks to escape damning headlines: “Shapiro Tries to Salvage Relationships—and His Budget,” “Mr. Success Finally Confronts Failure,” and “Pennsylvania’s Democrat Governor Caves on School Choice Program He Staunchly Backed to Appease His Own Party.”

The truth about Shapiro’s leadership: He bungled his first state budget. He broke his agreement on a bipartisan deal and line-item vetoedLifeline Scholarships, dubbed the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success (PASS) in the 2023–24 budget.

Though he wants us to believe the budget impasse is over, Shapiro’s work isn’t over. More than $1 billion of initiatives, including many programs Shapiro promised, is in limbo. Also, Shapiro must sign the code bills that direct how to implement appropriations. However, House Democrats likely won’t provide him anything to sign until late September because they want to wait for a special election to restore their one-seat majority.