HARRISBURG – Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25), Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34) and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee Chairman Elder Vogel (R-47) issued the following statement in response to the new proposals Governor Wolf presented today to support Pennsylvania farmers:
“We are encouraged by Governor Wolf’s willingness to have a discussion about the best ways to support Pennsylvania’s agriculture community, and we thank the governor for his efforts on this front. Many of these proposals could potentially build on the progress we have already made through the creation of a new grant program to support dairy farmers – an initiative led by Senate Republicans during last year’s budget negotiations.
“In addition to the plans the governor is proposing, we continue to be supportive of the idea of hosting a dairy summit. The summit would bring together all agencies and stakeholders for a discussion on the future of agriculture. A similar approach in New York has yielded positive reviews, and we believe this summit could serve as a valuable outlet for the entire industry at a minimal cost to taxpayers.
“After the governor proposed to cut nearly $4 million in agriculture funding from the state budget last week, the biggest question that remains is how the approximately $24 million in new spending would be funded. As we take a closer look at the governor’s budget and his new plans for supporting farmers, our priority will be working with all parties to determine how we can incorporate some or all of these ideas in a fiscally responsible way. We look forward to a careful review of all of these ideas leading up to our budget hearing with the Department of Agriculture on March 6 and a joint hearing with the Senate and House Agriculture committees on March 20.”
Kate Flessner (717) 787-7084 (Senator Scarnati)
Jenn Kocher (717) 787-1377 (Senator Corman)
Matt Parido (717) 787-3076 (Senator Vogel)