Over the last two weeks, much of the attention in Harrisburg has been focused on the holiday-timed layoffs for Department of Labor and Industry call center employees. Stories throughout the state have been making their way through the media about what the effects of the layoffs will mean. It’s important to shine a spotlight on what we know about Senator Scott Wagner’s role in this.
Before announcing his intention to run for governor in the beginning of November, the funding for the call center was making its way through the legislature with little resistance. Before reaching the house, the bill passed in the committee Wagner is Vice Chair of. Wagner voted for the funding.
After more movement of the bill, the conservative-controlled House overwhelmingly approved the bill and it was given back to the Senate. Two votes in two separate committees of which Wagner is a member took place, including the one he vice-chairs. The votes were all in favor of the funding to stop the layoffs. Wagner missed both votes.
At some point throughout this process, Wagner visited one of the call centers, a trip described in the York Dispatch as “obviously political.” While there, he informed the employees he was running for governor.
When the funding came up for final votes again in late November, Wagner was quoted as saying he lead the charge against the bill and “I dug my foot in.” He went on to say of the call centers: “let them close down.” The actual voting on the bill was stopped from the committee Wagner is a member of.
In the days following Wagner taking credit for stopping the bill, he held a press conference, wrote multiple times to newspapers, and did multiple interviews saying that people who were blaming him were wrong to do so. He also held a fundraiser.
September 26 – Wagner Votes In Favor of The Bill
October 19 – The House Approves Bill 175 – 13
October 24/25 – Wagner Misses Votes; Bill Unanimously Passes Wagner Committees
November 11- Wagner Announces For Governor
November 19 – Wagner Takes Credit For Stopping Bill
November 30 – Wagner Holds Fundraiser
November 19 – Current – Wagner Says People Shouldn’t Blame Him