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Republicans Petition Wolf To Distribute Education Tax Credits

Sarah Schneider
90.5 WESA

Days after negotiations to balance Pennsylvania’s late budget collapsed completely, lawmakers, the governor, and their staffers are still trading barbs over social media—and in more formal ways, too.

Nearly 80 House Republicans have signed a petition demanding Wolf issue approval letters to businesses for tax credits that go toward scholarships. The money is past-due under state law.

Both the Republicans and Democratic Wolf administration blame the problem on budget discord.

The Educational Improvement Tax Credit and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit go to businesses, which in turn give up to $750,000 to scholarship and education programs in their areas.

The language that governs the credits was most recently updated in 2016, after Wolf delayed the payments during the previous year’s nine-month budget standoff.

It says the administration should send letters approving the funds by August 15.

But Representative Seth Grove, a conservative York County Republican, said his—and other—constituents don’t have approval yet.

“Getting those letters signed and approved and doing everything those nonprofits need to do becomes very, very difficult the later those letters go out,” he said.

The administration has said it delayed this year because the budget is unbalanced again.

But in an updated statement, spokesman JJ Abbott said Wolf “hopes to begin sending letters next week, even though House Republicans have failed to send a tax code to the Governor's desk to date.”

Budget talks aren’t expected to resume for at least another two weeks.