Tom Waring, the Wire
State Rep. Scott Petri said an attempt last week by House Republicans to restore state funding for critical human services programs, vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf nearly two months ago, was shut down by House Democrats, whose support was needed for a veto override.
“My Democrat colleagues argued that we didn’t have the constitutional authority to challenge the governor’s veto,” Petri said. “I believe they are wrong, and wonder who would bring a lawsuit to challenge our action? Certainly not the social service agencies charged with fulfilling services that would have been fully funded. These line items were not in dispute. They were the amounts agreed to by the governor and the General Assembly. In fact, 274 line items were agreed to by all parties, and the providers are desperate for this money. No other governor has failed to use the line item veto available under the Constitution, which enables him to blue line only those items not agreed to.
“Clearly, Gov. Wolf and House Democrats are willing to hold our most vulnerable citizens hostage while they attempt to push through the governor’s plan for $8 billion in new taxes. Consequently, funding for rape crisis centers, domestic violence services, public health, student grants, students with intellectual disabilities and other federal pass-through education dollars, as well as other crucial state programs, remain in jeopardy.”