After turbulent times, Wolfe finishes term on high note

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (AP) — Governor Tom Wolfe In Pennsylvania, predictions were made as Democrats made life-or-death decisions amid the devastating COVID-19 pandemic and controlled the battleground state’s presidential election amid an unprecedented Republican effort to overthrow. You’ve led Pennsylvania through impossible times.

Wolfe, 74, is leaving with positive support from major state polls and his successor Attorney General. Josh Shapirosucceeded him — the first time since 1966 that a Pennsylvania governor has been succeeded by a member of the same political party.

Wolff’s second term was a pandemic that transformed society, wiped out much of his second term agenda, and drew on the efforts of all institutions under his command.

He holds no grudges and is generally pleased with his accomplishments, but admits regret that he was unable to get several initiatives through the Republican-controlled Congress.

With the unemployment rate hitting an all-time low in November and the coffers chock-full of cash, Wolfe points to a legacy of spending billions more on public schools plagued by funding gaps.

Wolfe, who is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term, has lauded his positive approval ratings and Shapiro’s election as voter support for his leadership.

“This sort of progressive vision has really produced results,” said Wolfe. “It wasn’t like an imaginary pie. It was ‘Your life is actually getting better.'” And I did it in an efficient, effective, fair and honest way. I think that’s what people really want. ”

Burwood Yost, a pollster and director of the Center for Polling at Franklin and Marshall University, said Wolfe remained generally popular throughout his term despite high-profile battles with lawmakers. He said there was

the wolf won Re-election in 2018 is easy According to Yost, his second term ended with both positive approval ratings (more voters supporting his work than dissenting) and better ratings than President Joe Biden.

“It speaks to people’s general satisfaction with how he’s done his job,” Yost said.

Wolfe’s tenure coincided with Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, making them historically the majority.

he had two protracted battles budget battle With Republicans boosted by years of deficits. Wolff also had many of his priorities pushed aside by lawmakers, garnering the most vetoes from any governor since Democrat Milton his Shap in the 1970s.

many refuse Republican efforts to undo pandemic-related mitigations or limit power, and what was once bipartisan Instead, we had to navigate the often toxic and partisan Capitol.

Wolfe attributed the veto to the cumbersome democratic process.

“It’s not the number of vetoes that should judge that democracy. It’s by ‘What have you accomplished?'” … we still accomplished a lot of really important things,” Wolff said.

Ultimately, Wolfe often pursued change unilaterally to get around Republican lawmakers, who did the same. Pursuit of constitutional amendment to circumvent Wolf’s veto.

Wolf wielded executive power in unprecedented ways during the pandemic, drawing condemnation from voters when voters barely approved Republican-sponsored constitutional amendments Curb the governor’s emergency powers.

Wolfe doesn’t say he would have done otherwise, only that he would “second-guess himself for the rest of his life.”

He and his administration’s emergency managers had a “tabletop” exercise to prepare for any eventuality, but they found themselves in unprepared and unpredictable situations.

“I don’t know if anyone does,” said Wolfe. “You are always amazed by what strikes you, no matter where you are in life.”

More than 48,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, according to the state Department of Health.

Outside the State Capitol, Wolf survived floods and tornadoes. bridge collapse in Pittsburgh, anxiety murder of black man by police Fatal Shooting of 11 Worshipers The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh has witnessed the worst anti-Semitic attack in US history.

Perhaps Wolfe’s greatest achievement was funding schools.

He increased annual state aid by about $3 billion a year, or 41%, and sought to fix the most unfair school funding system in the nation, especially in districts with large black and Latinx student populations. .

It paid a price: Republicans demanded concession About Wolfe’s other priorities.

He was a champion of liberal causes.

he imposed death penalty moratoriumallowed more lenient applications than his predecessor and blocked laws curtailing abortion rights.

Wolfe also portrayed his administration as honest and banned gifts to executive branch employees. The administration has often taken a hardline stance on demands for public records.

His second term election came under intense scrutiny.

Wolf made the county buy a new one safer voting machine On the advice of federal authorities, Extensive Mail-in Ballot Law Later targeted by President Donald Trump’s election Lie.

when Biden wins in Pennsylvania The Wolf administration, which has cemented its way into the White House, has had to defend the state’s electoral integrity and mail-in ballot laws against Trump’s sweeping court coverage. parliament, meeting and the court to stay in power.

Wolf’s environmental record is mixture.

Environmental advocates say he could have gone farther to crack down on greenhouse gas emissions. approved tax breaks and issued permits for major refineries, power plants and pipelines.

Indeed, the Republican Party thwarted many of Wolfe’s priorities. These included raising taxes by billions of dollars, raising the minimum wage and increasing restrictions on gun purchases.

Even after Mr. Wolfe leaves, state policymakers will still face demands that require billions of dollars more. transport project When school aid.

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But unlike the deficit Wolf faced when he took office, Wolff will retire with billions of dollars in reserves thanks to inflationary tax collections and billions of dollars in federal pandemic aid. After turbulent times, Wolfe finishes term on high note

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