Harrisburg –State Senator John DiSanto (R-15) issued the following statement on the 2017-18 state budget plan approved by the Senate today:
“For three consecutive years, Governor Wolf has asked for billions in new spending — propped up by new tax increases, one-time revenues, and short-sighted schemes that only perpetuate one budget crisis after another. While I appreciate the efforts of Republican leadership in negotiating with the Governor, I cannot support this budget that increases overall spending by $500 million with no clear or responsible plan to pay for it. I have never bought anything without knowing how I would pay for it, and I’m not going to start now.
“The Pennsylvania Constitution requires a balanced budget. Passing a spending plan without a revenue plan to pay for it results in bad decisions such as job-killing tax hikes, borrowing and deficits. As the 2016-17 budget comes to a close, the year will end with a staggering $1.6 billion budget deficit as last year’s tax increases and revenues failed to materialize.
“Among this year’s revenue increases reportedly under consideration are retail alcohol taxes, new electricity supplier taxes, widely expanded gaming, and massive borrowings against future revenues. While there is no final or agreed-to revenue package, these proposals could have serious negative consequences for Pennsylvania and lead us right into another budget deficit next year.
“Pennsylvania has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. The current level of spending is unsustainable for the long-term as there is continued reliance on one-time fixes and questionable revenues. We cannot keep asking more from the already overburdened taxpayer and indebting future generations.
“There must be an overall reduction in spending that drives cost-saving efficiencies and prioritizes spending on core functions of government. By measuring results and holding government officials accountable for their performance, we can balance the state budget while providing increased investments in important areas such as education.”
CONTACT: Chuck Erdman firstname.lastname@example.org (717) 787-6801