Mensch: Governor’s Veto Hurts Schools, Social Services

Harrisburg –  Senator Bob Mensch (R-Berks, Bucks, Montgomery) said he was disappointed with Governor Wolf’s veto of the stop-gap budget package approved by the legislature that would have provided vital relief to local school districts and social service agencies impacted by the prolonged budget impasse.

“With today’s action, the governor is now withholding more than $65 million in payments to fund school districts in the 24th Senatorial District,” said Mensch. “Those taxes are still being collected. The state has the money. The governor is holding it back to force passage of his record tax hike. It’s an awful tactic to use and that’s why no governor has used it before.”

The stop-gap budget represented the latest effort by the General Assembly to help schools, counties, municipalities and agencies that saw their state payments end on July 1 after Governor Wolf vetoed House Bill 1192 (the Fiscal Year 2015-16 general fund spending bill) on June 30 — almost immediately after its passage by the General Assembly.

The three-bill package — Senate Bill 1000 (Stop Gap Appropriations Act), Senate Bill 1001 (Fiscal Code Budget Implementation) and House Bill 224 (Public School Code) – would have provided $11.2 billion in state allocations. That represents one-third (four months) of the state funding as authorized by HB 1192 with limited exceptions.

“Governor Wolf missed an opportunity to show leadership and good will. Providing this funding relief would have simply given all sides time to continue working on a final budget. Now, not only are we no closer to agreement, but schools, domestic abuse shelters and foster children are being made to suffer,” said Mensch.

24th Senatorial District Education Payments Vetoed by Gov. Wolf

Berks County

Boyertown                               $9.62 Million
Brandywine Heights Area       $2.63 Million
Oley Valley                             $2.62 Million

Bucks County
Palisades                                $2.38 Million
Quakertown Community        $6.76 Million

Montgomery County
North Penn                              $12.6 Million
Perkiomen Valley                   $5.85 Million
Pottsgrove                               $5.03 Million
Pottstown                                $5.58 Million
Souderton Area                       $7.28 Million
Upper Perkiomen                   $5.30 Million

CONTACT: Sarah Rasmussen srasmussen@pasen.gov  (215) 541-2388