Responding to Governor Wolf’s budget address today, Senate Republican leaders said they are encouraged that the proposal does not include broad-based tax increases. However, they are concerned about $1.5 billion in additional spending and more than a billion dollars in new borrowing in the governor’s proposal. They believe Pennsylvanians deserve a state budget that is fiscally responsible and sustainable.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25): “Senate Republicans remain committed to a budget that respects taxpayers while helping continue to foster job growth and economic development across our Commonwealth. Governor Wolf’s massive cut to school safety funding while wanting to spend over $1.5 billion more this year is immensely concerning. Ensuring that students and teachers feel safe in their learning environments is a crucial part of helping children to learn and succeed. I look forward to working with my colleagues to make sure the final 2020-2021 fiscal year budget addresses the needs of every area of our Commonwealth.”
Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34): “What we are seeing here is a regurgitation of many of the Governor’s same old policy proposals. This budget contains more than a half-a-billion dollars in tax increases on employers and other things that play to his base of supporters. We will start from the beginning and continue to unshackle employers from the unnecessary regulatory and tax burdens. As we go through this process, we will hold the governor to the policies that have led to record high wages and record low unemployment.”
Senate Appropriations Chair Pat Browne (R-16): “The Commonwealth has not been in this solid of a financial position in more than a decade. While this is certainly welcomed news, it is critical now, more than ever, that we remain fiscally disciplined and cautious when setting budget priorities and a FY 2020-21 spending number. The Governor’s budget proposal contains large spending increases over the previous year of 4.5 percent, which is well over the rate of inflation and considerably higher than previously enacted budget spending increases. That, coupled with a significant number of supplemental increases by the Governor, creates a risky financial profile for the future of the Commonwealth. This has the potential, if revenues fail to reach expectations and supplemental increases continue into the future, of greatly increasing the long-term structural imbalance of the Commonwealth’s finances. That is something the General Assembly, led by Senate Republicans, has worked extremely hard to reduce over the previous several years with conservative budgeting.”