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Pa. budget impasse ends with a whimper

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Nearly nine months into the fiscal year, Pennsylvania’s budget impasse will end — or nearly end — this week.

Gov. Wolf, facing pressure from state-funded programs and fellow Democrats, said Wednesday he’ll allow a roughly $6 billion supplemental funding plan to become law, but without his signature.

"I cannot in good conscience sign this bill," said Wolf, speaking from a lectern next to his office in the Capitol. "I cannot in good conscience attach my name to a budget that simply doesn’t add up."

But he is reneging on his vow to reject a Republican-crafted measure that was intended to end the state’s budget stalemate by restoring funding that he crossed out late last year with his partial budget veto.

The governor still insists that the GOP’s budget is unbalanced and bad for the state, exacerbating a nearly $2 billion structural deficit projected for the fiscal year beginning in three months. But by settling the current year’s budget, both he and state lawmakers can turn their attention to their next budget deadline: July 1.

"We need to move on," said Wolf. "I’ve convinced myself that this is the right thing to do."

Wolf’s consideration period for the supplemental spending plan ends Sunday. The bill will take effect without his signature, giving the state its first complete budget since June.

Read the rest of this story at NewsWorks

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