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Governor Wolf’s Budget Games

By LVC Staff

PA State Capitoltom-wolf-

PA Capitol Building                   Gov. Tom Wolf

Governor Tom Wolf is considered by many to be America’s most liberal Governor.  Last year he vetoed a balanced budget that the legislature presented him.  That balanced budget had major increases in education spending and other areas that the Governor wanted.  However, Governor Wolf wanted a record increase in spending and taxes.  The Republican controlled legislature found this to be unacceptable.  Later the legislature presented a compromise budget with no tax increases that Governor Wolf line-item vetoed.  Wolf cut the six billion dollar education line-item in half threatening school districts all across the state with closure.  In fact, the Governor’s office sent out a check list for school districts to follow when shutting down.  As this blackmail escalated, citizens across the state became increasingly unhappy.  In March, the legislature sent another balanced-no tax increase budget to Governor Wolf.  However, this time Democrats in the legislature indicated that they would join with Republicans to overturn any Wolf veto.  The Governor apparently counted noses and while not approving, he did not veto that budget and allowed it to become the lawful 2015-16 State Budget.  That was 2015-16!  The legislature and Governor are once again locking horns on the 2016-17 budget, which should be approved by June 30th.  Knowing the games Governor Wolf has already played, one has only to wonder just what foolishness we are in store for!

131st State Legislative District Primary Race

April 26th is the Pennsylvania Primary Election day.  Turn out should be good since both political parties will be selecting their Presidential choices.  However, in the 131st District there is no Democrat running for the State House of Representatives.  On the Republican side there is a contest between the incumbent Justin Simmons and his challenger Bill Coyle.  This contest has gotten hot, and appearances are that the two men don’t like each other very much.  The Commentator has followed this race, and it has the look of a continuation of the six year fight between the supporters of Karen Beyer and Justin Simmons.  You may recall that the very liberal Karen Beyer held that House seat, and Justin Simmons defeated Beyer six years ago.  Beyer’s people have been challenging Simmons ever since.  In fact, two years ago Karen Beyer had her son change his party affiliation to Democrat so he could run against Simmons albeit unsuccessfully.  This year, it has been noted that Beyer’s people, including former State Legislator Jennifer Mann and the East Penn Teacher’s Union President, Sue Arnold, recruited Mr. Coyle to run.

rep-justin-simmons

PA State Rep. Justin Simmons

The debates, both in person and on radio, appear to show a huge contrast in knowledge of the issues.  Bill Coyle’s main issue is that Justin Simmons stated he would only run for three terms and is now running for a fourth term. As for important state issues, Mr. Coyle displayed a lack of knowledge. For example when discussing the topic of the State’s Prevailing Wage Act, Bill Coyle talked about the minimum wage.  It was pointed out that Bill Coyle  has only voted three times in the last twenty elections. Coyle responded to this by saying “I am not paid to vote!” A citizen also pointed out to Mr. Coyle that he has never attended any local government meetings, the implication being that he is disinterested in local matters.  Another response of Mr. Coyle’s was that he would figure out the issues after he was elected!

Justin Simmons on the other hand displayed extensive knowledge of State and Local issues.  Simmons points out that he has NOT taken part in the State Pension and will continue to decline the Pension.  Simmons also points out that his local legislative offices are among the least expensive of all the State Legislators while still providing quality services.

The Commentator notes that Justin Simmons is among our most reliable conservative members of the State House.  His record shows a willingness to control State spending, support for the Property Tax Elimination Act, support for pension reform, support for the Second Amendment, and opposition to Common Core/Pennsylvania Core.  We cannot help but believe that the unions will run a write-in campaign for a Democrat canidate to oppose Simmons in the Fall Election.  Time will tell!

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