Court bid to block Gov. Wolf borrowing, including $1.25B against PLCB profits
Gov. Wolf's borrowing from the state treasury to pay bills while the General Assembly wrestles over how to pay for the state's $32 billion spending plan that became law last summer violates the state Constitution, according to a petition for a preliminary injunction, which also aims to block Wolf's plan to borrow $1.25 billion against future PLCB profits.
Gov. Wolf's plan to borrow $1.25 billion against future profits of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to help fill a gaping $2 billion budget gap for fiscal 2017-18 faces a court challenge.
A petition for a temporary preliminary injunction was filed Monday in Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania by Matthew J. Brouillette, president and chief executive of the Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs; Rep. Jim Christiana (R., Beaver), and Harrisburg-area small businessman Ben Lewis.
The petition said Wolf's borrowing, including loans from the state treasury, violated the Pennsylvania Constitution.
"Our constitution requires that the commonwealth's budget be balanced, meaning that expenditures cannot exceed revenues, and that money only be borrowed in the name of the people of Pennsylvania with the explicit consent of their General Assembly," the petition said.
The Wolf administration, which had no comment, has said the PLCB has the authority to borrow the $1.25 billion because of the board's ability to enter into contracts.