LEMOYNE, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Grange President Elizabeth Downey issued the following statement following Gov. Tom Wolf’s presentation of his proposed State Budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18:
When it comes to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture budget request, it is still a tiresome political game. Whether Republican or Democrat, Pennsylvania governors strip the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture of needed line items, knowing that the General Assembly will put them back in. Why this theater? So the governor can have another budget bargaining chip. That is cynical and it is wrong.
Consider these programs — long-standing programs — that have been zeroed out:
- Center for Dairy Excellence
- Center for Beef Excellence
- Agriculture Research
- Agricultural Promotion, Education and Exports
- Hardwoods Research and Promotion
- Livestock Show
- Open Dairy Shows
- Food Marketing & Research
- And don’t forget state support for the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary program
It is a tiresome practice and I would expect this governor to know better. For one thing, this Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture proposal does not reflect what we believe the governor truly felt when he nominated agriculture advocate Russell Redding to be Secretary of Agriculture. Rather, this is a gambit, a ploy.
In the speech to the General Assembly, Gov. Wolf said he was elected to “be a different kind of governor.” Resorting to false budget stratagems is not the way to be a different kind of governor.
— Pennsylvania State Grange