Representative William Adolph
165th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: John O’Brien
WilliamAdolph.com / Facebook.com/RepAdolph
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2016
Chairman Adolph Asks Treasurer to Examine Gov. Wolf’s Actions
HARRISBURG – Rep. William F. Adolph, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, sent a letter to Treasurer Timothy Reese in regard to Governor Tom Wolf’s decision to send out Basic Education Funding despite the governor vetoing the Fiscal Code.
The budget, contained in Act 1A of 2016, stated that the $150 Million increase to Basic Education Funding can only be distributed through enabling legislation, which was in the vetoed Fiscal Code. Without that enabling legislation, the governor is prohibited by state law from distributing this additional funding.
House Bill 1801, which was the General Fund budget that became law at the end of March, required that enabling legislation be enacted before the governor could distribute the $150 Million increase to Basic Education Funding. That enabling legislation was contained in House Bill 1327, which was the Fiscal Code that Governor Wolf vetoed. Therefore, the governor has no legal authority to distribute this money.
"Once again we see that the governor is ignoring legislation that has become law in order to achieve his goals. This blatant disregard of the legislative process is very concerning. We have asked the Treasurer to give an opinion on what actions his office would take should the governor request payments to school districts above the level in the 2014-15 budget.
"We are in this situation because of the governor’s actions. His statement that he intends to distribute education money despite explicit language prohibiting this in Act 1A of 2016 is troubling. We are calling on the Treasurer to honor the written law and not fulfill the governor’s request until a fair funding formula is agreed to."
House Bill 1327 would have used the fair and equitable formula that was created by the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission. The formula created by the Basic Education Funding Commission was approved by the House Democratic Caucus, the House Republican Caucus, the Senate Democratic Caucus, the Senate Republican Caucus, and the governor. Despite this, Governor Wolf is picking winners and losers with his proposed distribution that would adversely affect 428 out of Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts.