Today’s the day: Gov. Corbett will either sign a $29.1 billion budget that’s already been approved by both chambers of the Pennsylvania Legislature — or he’ll veto it and call lawmakers back from vacation.
Corbett’s office has announced a Thursday morning news conference in the Capitol about the spending plan for the fiscal year that began more than a week ago.
Budget Secretary Charles Zogby and other state officials will be on hand to discuss what’s being described as technical aspects related to the budget.
Here’s the range of options:
• Sign the budget.
• Refuse to sign the budget, but let it become law.
• Veto the budget in its entirety
• Veto part of the budget, let the rest become law.
The Tribune-Review suggests Corbett will veto the Legislature’s budget for its own activities, call lawmakers back into session, and challenge them — again — to approve pension overhaul for state employees. It might also give Corbett a chance to look good —given that he’s 20 points down in the polls for his re-election race.
There’s no question many lawmakers would be angry if Corbett cuts legislative funding, said J. Wesley Leckrone, a political science professor at Widener University in Chester. Leckrone said he doesn’t believe vetoing legislative funding “would resonate with Pennsylvanians.”
Corbett would have a better shot at achieving pension reform by signing the budget and not axing legislative funds, Leckrone said.
But if Corbett takes on lawmakers’ spending, it will attract news coverage in the “dog days” of summer as he prepares to take on Democrat Tom Wolf, a York businessman, in November. Wolf led by 22 points in a Franklin & Marshall College poll last week.