HARRISBURG – Today Senator John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry) joined his colleagues in a joint session of the General Assembly for the unveiling of Governor Wolf’s state budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21.
The Governor’s $36.1 billion budget proposal includes a $1.5 billion (4.2 percent) increase in state spending from the current fiscal year. The increase is double the spending limits permitted by the Taxpayer Protection Act, legislation which restricts growth in state government spending to inflation plus population growth.
“In these strong economic times, the Commonwealth needs to exercise fiscal restraint to get our finances on solid ground,” said DiSanto. “While we made incremental progress last year with a contribution to our Rainy Day Fund, I remain very concerned about the significant proposed increase in spending and borrowing. We must continue efforts to streamline government and realize savings that shield taxpayers from future downturns and tax hikes.”
The Governor has yet again called for a new energy tax on natural gas extraction, a $15 minimum wage, and a fee on municipalities served exclusively by the State Police. While Senator DiSanto has voted in favor of a reasonable minimum wage increase, DiSanto cautions the Governor’s extreme proposals will negatively impact the state economy. “Pennsylvania is already experiencing an exodus of young people seeking opportunities in lower-tax states with greater economic freedom and less regulatory burdens. Increasing costs on employers, imposing a new tax on energy and adding expensive new mandates on our communities will further stifle our business climate.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a three-week series of departmental budget hearings beginning on February 18. The hearings provide an opportunity for the Appropriations Committee to hear cabinet secretaries and other Administration officials detail their plans for the upcoming fiscal year. The state’s current fiscal year ends on June 30.
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