PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Shortly after a state board Tuesday morning approved the legislature’s plan to borrow against future tobacco settlement payments, a spokesman for Governor Wolf said he intends to scuttle another borrowing plan to help balance the state budget.
Absent a revenue plan from the legislature, Governor Wolf had announced his desire to have the Liquor Control Board monetize $1.25 billion against future profits. Then lawmakers passed and Wolf signed a bill authorizing $1.5 billion of borrowing against future tobacco settlement payments.
On Tuesday, the Commonwealth Financing Authority, or CFA, gave its blessing to the tobacco settlement borrowing. Budget secretary Randy Albright is a member of the CFA.
The governor had been keeping the liquor borrowing option open and after the vote, Albright wasn’t tipping his boss’s hand.
“I don’t want to speak out of turn. We didn’t want to make any steps prematurely before the CFA acted,” said Albright.
But later, a Wolf spokesman said that if the tobacco settlement borrowing is executed responsibly, the administration will support that in place of the liquor borrowing.