State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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Wolf takes to Twitter to address constituents' concerns

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Feb 10, 2017 7:49 PM

Wolf gave his official budget address Tuesday. Now, lawmakers will review the plan and make their own proposals. (Photo by the Office of the Governor/Flickr)

(Harrisburg) -- Governor Tom Wolf turned his Twitter into a town hall Friday afternoon, dedicating an hour to answering constituents' questions about his new budget proposal for the next fiscal year.

Wolf hadn't done a Twitter town hall since 2015. This time, he fielded around 20 questions, tackling softballs like whether he supports public education--yes--and more complicated ones, like how he'll reform Pennsylvania's overburdened public pension system.

To that, Wolf said much will depend on the legislature.

Another frequent concern was whether Wolf's budget--which merges four major health agencies and promises to save over $2 billion in efficiencies--would lead to service cuts. The governor said it won't, promising instead that his changes would reduce bureaucratic red tape.

Conservative groups also took the opportunity to criticize Wolf's billion dollars in proposed tax increases, which largely target corporations. Both the state GOP and the organization Americans for Prosperity Pennsylvania argued the plan still spends too much, despite its cuts and agency consolidations.

One question Wolf didn't get to was whether he'll move to legalize online gambling.

The budget proposal does count on $150 million from unidentified gaming revenues. But a similar $100 million gap in this year's budget was never filled.

The governor is in the early stages of running for a second term, and his office said he'll be doing more online town halls in the coming weeks.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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