HARRISBURG – Rep. Bob Brooks (R-Allegheny/Westmoreland) today issued the following statement following Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address:
“I look forward to working with the House Appropriations Committee, my colleagues and the governor to ensure that a fiscally responsible budget is passed and that it will prove beneficial to all Pennsylvanians.
“The governor’s proposal is a good start. He is trying to do what is best for all Pennsylvanians, and I respect that. However, I feel the governor leaves out several key components such as more funding for higher education and various senior and special needs programs. Obviously, the biggest issue is cost; we can’t spend what we don’t have. However, I have reason for a bit of optimism; at least he has not made many unreasonable requests, but there is room for improvement.
“The governor’s budget proposal is $36 billion. I am committed to holding the budget to $35 billion, which would be a 2.9% increase to this year.
“Instead of the governor pushing for Restore Pennsylvania, a taxing plan to address critical infrastructure needs across Pennsylvania, there is another program already in place called PENNVEST, to help communities replace sewer systems, stormwater and water projects. Why create a program just to implement a tax?
“I know that some Philadelphia schools need asbestos and lead cleanups. How does their school district pay the bill? The answer, YOUR MONEY, not the money they generate. Before government spends large capital funds of your money, they must decide which schools should stay open and pay for the repairs. Many Philadelphia schools are only 50% utilized and that must be fixed before other money is used to repair these facilities.
“We are blessed to enjoy a good economy which allows us to spend at this current level; however, we must continue to do all we can in incentivize employment so that we can fully program education, senior care, special needs and mental health.
“The unemployment rate in our state has improved dramatically. Businesses are hiring and our citizens can enjoy the benefits of family-sustaining jobs. I am optimistic about the future. My colleagues and I will be working to ensure the state’s prosperity grows – not its government.”
Representative Bob Brooks
54th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)