HARRISBURG - A day after his partial veto of a Republican-backed budget, Gov. Wolf on Wednesday reiterated his call for House and Senate leaders to return to the Capitol and resume working on a final budget deal.

"There is no reason why the House and Senate shouldn't be called back into session, to get back to work and implement the bipartisan budget agreement," backed weeks ago by Wolf and the Senate, the governor told House Speaker Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny) and Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati (R. Jefferson) in a letter.

The letter was sent to the two GOP caucus leaders on Tuesday. Wolf's office released it publicly Wednesday morning.

Still, it appeared unlikely his plea would have much effect.

The Capitol was largely empty Wednesday. Neither chamber was scheduled to return until after the new year. And representatives for Republican leaders in both chambers did not respond to requests for comment on Wolf's latest salvo.

In an email to House members Tuesday, Turzai said the chamber would not reconvene until at least next week.

Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R., Centre), meanwhile, said that his chamber would have little budget-related work to do until the House returns.

"We sort of can't move until they move," Corman said Tuesday.

That was after Wolf line-item-vetoed a $30.26 billion spending plan that the Republican-controlled legislature had sent him before Christmas, freeing up cash for struggling school districts and nonprofits, but forcing continued negotiations between lawmakers to pass a full budget.

Ideological differences that have persisted for nearly six months seemed to remain after Wolf's veto: The governor continued to push for a $350 million increase in education spending, while House Republicans, in particular, have been opposed to tax increases necessary to fund priority needs and others.


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