PA Legislative Services reported Tuesday afternoon Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) told reporters after a bipartisan meeting of legislators on the budget there was general consensus a Personal Income Tax increase will not be part of the final budget plan.
“Once that’s gone, that reduces the differences significantly and we can move forward and that’s what we’re going to do,” he said.
That being said, he explained revenue increases in some other areas might be part of the budget discussions, along with spending reforms as in the area of public pensions.
“Part of the structural deficit is expenditures, and pensions is a big part of that and that’s why we’ve been pushing for pension reform and even though—right now—it won’t have any short term savings, it’s still important that we get it done,” he stated Tuesday. “The deficit is a projection of how much you’re going to spend and you don’t have to spend that much.”
As for the other side of the aisle, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) said he and other Democrats will be meeting with the governor either Tuesday or Wednesday to ensure “we’re all on the same page” with respect to budgetary and revenue plans.
“Conversations are ongoing and we’re going to try to keep them going,” he stated.
“We’re trying to get to a place where we have a budget in place and that’s going to require a lot of conversations, a lot of discussions about revenue packages because we know we need to have a conversation about revenues as we go forward.”
Gov. Wolf said in a radio interview Tuesday morning that he will not back down from trying to put Pennsylvania on a firm financial footing and fixing the deficit.
“I think there’s a dawning awareness that I’m not going to cave on this,” he said. “I can’t cave on this.”
Noting increased momentum for expanded gaming revenues, Gov. Wolf acknowledged they may be part of the discussion going forward, but aren’t a panacea.
“I think there are varying degrees on what that will provide, but I haven’t heard anybody say that’ll be the end all, be all to our budget deficit,” he said. “I’m open to a conversation on that and presume you can design it in such a way that it can bring in some revenues, but not enough to plug a $2 billion deficit.”
NewsClips:Wolf: I Can’t Cave In Budget Fight