A First Time For Everything: Thoughts On Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf's Upcoming Budget Address

Feb 08, 2016, 11:40 ET from Pennsylvania Medical Society

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Political blogger Hannah Walsh, a legislative veteran with first-hand state capitol experience in Harrisburg and also associate director of legislative affairs at the Pennsylvania Medical Society, covers the ongoing Pennsylvania budget saga in this edition of Weekly Capitol Update Blog.

Despite the fact that the current year's budget remains unresolved, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is scheduled to deliver his second state budget address to a joint session of the House and Senate Tuesday, Feb. 9. Both chambers have scheduled budget hearings over the course of three weeks during late February and early March.

Now, my personal state-government experience only goes back about eight years, but I think even those with far more seniority than me could probably say that this is the first time that they've seen a governor present his customary annual state budget address while the prior year's budget remains unfinished. But, then again, if everything is scheduled to go on like normal, does it even matter?

To some, the answer is yes, very much so. Gov. Wolf's partial veto of a $30.2 billion spending plan the legislature sent him in December - six months past its due date - left big holes in funding for things like public education, agricultural programs, corrections, and state-related universities. The partial budget veto also cut supplemental Medicaid payments to rural hospitals, burn units, and childbirth centers across the state. Here is more about what funding was authorized in December.

So with all of these things left up in the air, what will Wolf say in his Tuesday address?

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Medical Society