Editorial: He can’t give the wolf vaccine days off

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Every elected officer has good goals to pursue and good ideas that are held back by two things. First of all, you need the money to complete the task. Second, it has to be part of your job.

Governor Tom Wolf struggles with both issues when it comes to vaccinating government employees.

It is important for the leader to consider how to promote vaccination during a pandemic, especially one that has had such a profound economic impact. But do you give government employees five paid days off to do this?

Let’s start by finding the money for this listing. You’d think it doesn’t cost much. You don’t give people money; you give them time. Unless that’s not true. You give them money so that they have time. Oh, and if they don’t have the opportunity to take the days off, they’ll still get their pay.

Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity said if you multiply the cost of those five days by the 70,000 government employees, you get a cost of $ 100 million. That’s a huge sum of money for the governor to seemingly give the green light out of the blue on Monday.

Where exactly is the state getting an additional $ 100 million and what else could the money have funded? Is there really that much unused cash kept in store and if so, could it not be used for education or senior care or housing or just to stop the incessant increase in tolls?

But here we come to the second topic. Is it the governor’s job to raise that much money?

Sure, as the highest executive of the state, it is his responsibility to run the government. However, the legislature not only has the task of enacting laws, but also deciding how the money will be spent. Wolf definitely knows this – or he should after several budget confrontations with Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Center.

Spending $ 100 million is something that should go before the legislature. While wholeheartedly supporting the governor’s vacation schedule, there is a right and a wrong way to go, and it is out of bounds to do so without legislative influence.

It’s not just about choosing a Democratic or Republican position. Bringing something into the legislature means opening up the word to debate. This means that both sides have to bring their best arguments and discuss them in public. It’s always in people’s best interests.

Nothing good comes from money matters decided in the dark. That was a hot topic last when, after an error five years ago, the question of how overpayments of unemployment benefits can be reimbursed came to light. The cost there is $ 19.4 million – less than a fifth of the cost of the free vaccination days.

Wolf has to do his job, and part of that job is to put such a plan to the legislature before announcing it as a directive.

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