Governor Wolf sees downgrade without budget deal soon

Written by The Associated Press | Sep 19, 2017 4:27 AM

FILE PHOTO: Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf speaks to reporters in his offices. (AP Photo/Marc Levy)

(Harrisburg) -- Democratic Governor Tom Wolf says it's urgent that he and state lawmakers end a fight over patching a $2 billion budget deficit to avoid a downgrade to Pennsylvania's battered credit rating.

Wolf said in a statement that, without a responsible budget deal, state government also will face more disruptions in programs and payments.

Wolf and leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature spoke by telephone over the weekend, amid a three-month stalemate over how to fully fund a $32 billion budget bill lawmakers approved June 30.

Senate Republicans say they're considering changes to the House GOP's no-new-taxes plan that passed last week. In July, the Senate passed a $500 million-plus tax package that hits utility customers and natural gas production.

The chamber's ranking senator, Republican Joe Scarnati of Jefferson County, says the state will continue to be unable to pay its bills in the future if it doesn't get more money.

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