Wolf says time running out on budget deal before downgrade

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Senate Republicans shot back saying they agree with S&P's concerns about fiscal stability. First off, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania spends more than $80 billion per year on everything.

Over the past week, Pennsylvania missed about $1.7 billion in medical reimbursement payments and another $581 million in pension-related bills, S&P noted.

Unfortunately, like it or not, fair taxation is the only realistic, reliable and stable method to balance a government budget.

Pennsylvania's credit rating took its latest punch Wednesday, another black eye in a almost three-month budget stalemate that has pitted Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the Republican-controlled Senate against the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

"We must reach an immediate resolution to the budget and today's news should be a wake-up call to come together and end this now".

"This credit down grade need not, and should not have happened".

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If the General Assembly had enacted the modest personal income tax increase Governor Wolf proposed in February 2017, not only would the budget be balanced this year, but there would be nearly no carryover deficit from last year.

What is not clear is why Torsella and DePasquale were being blamed for approving deficit spending.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf supports a revenue plan passed by the Republican-controlled Senate in July. And the reason for their reluctance to cut spending is quite obvious - the public will not stand for it because investing in our communities is what's best for Pennsylvania. Let the governor know you noticed his lack of responsibility in crafting a responsible budget while those who owed tax payments continued to meet their obligations on time. That means counting on another expansion of casino-style gambling in the nation's No. 2 commercial casino state, an expansion that lawmakers haven't even approved.

In a two-page letter sent September 12 to lawmakers and Wolf, state Treasurer Joseph M. Torsella and Auditor General Eugene A. DePasquale, both Democrats, cited the state's imminent inability to pay its bills.

The House plan - developed largely by rank-and-file Republicans, including several midstate lawmakers - relies on $630 million in special fund transfers from state funds with excess or dormant monies.

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