Senator DiSanto: Wolf Budget Makes PA Fiscal Situation Worse

Harrisburg – State Senator John DiSanto (R-15) issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2017-18 state budget:

The Governor has spoken for months about reinventing state government, so I was hopeful he’d propose significant improvements to state operations. Unfortunately, if this budget gets passed “as is,” we’re going to be right back here next year, in even worse shape. 

There’s no meaningful attempt to control government spending. In order to protect Pennsylvania taxpayers, we need to hold the line on spending, not increase it $571 million as the Governor proposes. 

As proved once again by the recent upheaval at Labor and Industry with the Unemployment Compensation Centers, we need to measure results and hold people accountable, not reward poor performance with more money. 

The single biggest issue facing the state, the out of control pension system and unfunded liabilities, wasn’t addressed in this budget. However, the Governor actually proposed an early retirement incentive that will make the problem even worse. 

This budget relies on $1.5 billion in one-time revenues and questionable “revenue estimates” to perpetuate a bureaucracy that is too big, inefficient and dysfunctional. When these “revenues” disappear, the taxpayers will be left holding the debt once again. 

The Governor suggests selling the Farm Show Complex for $200 million today and buying it back over 29 years. He wants to spend all that money now, and then have future generations pay for it! If those are the proposals the Governor’s advisers and consultants are suggesting, it demonstrates his lack of commitment to truly reinventing our government. 

To fix state government operations, we must confront our structural spending problem, reform the pension system and pay down unfunded liabilities, use zero-based budgeting, measure results and hold people accountable for their performance. That’s what I intend to do.

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman cerdman@pasen.gov (717) 787-6801