Gov. Wolf has harsh words for House leadership during stop in Pittsburgh
January 7, 2016 2:27 PM
Gov. Tom Wolf talks with entrepreneurs at AlphaLab Gear Thursday in East Liberty.
By Chris Potter / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Gov. Tom Wolf touted Pittsburgh's tech sector and slammed House Republican leaders for torpedoing a budget agreement today in East Liberty.
Speaking at AlphaLab Gear, an accelerator for startups developing everything from next generation bras to headsets to keep truckers from dozing off, Mr. Wolf praised the entrepreneurship that has helped revive the city's economy.
"This was a city, not too long ago, that was on its back. What's happening here is the whole regeneration not just of an industry, but of a whole city. Pittsburgh is coming back to life." he said.
When he was asked about the failed efforts to get a state budget agreement, he emphasized repeatedly that there had been a budget agreement that passed in the Senate and that he said would have passed in the House, but that was undermined by House leadership.
"We actually had a deal, we actually had a budget," he said.
In the real world, "you're not allowed to take the ball and go home, because you forfeit," but different rules apply in Harrisburg, he said.
He offered this bit of sardonic advice to the entrepreneurs in the room:
"Don't hire people who think the job is not to show up."
He said he'd made concessions in the budget negotiations, including on pensions and a severance tax, but to no avail.
"There's little I can do beyond what I've done."
He said that because of credit rating downgrades due to the failure to pass a budget, the state could pay $139 million more to borrow money. Alluding to the fact that Republicans have pledged not to raise taxes, he said: "They raised your taxes by raising the cost of borrowing" and by burdening school districts with extra costs.
"You put extremists in power, this is what you get." he said.
He was asked about what can be done about school districts having to pay extra to borrow money while they wait for state money. He said that the budget agreement included money to cover the cost of borrowing money.
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