– Gov. Tom Wolf today presented his $43.7 billion budget plan, which is the largest proposed spending plan in Pennsylvania history. It is a $6.2 billion increase in spending over the current fiscal year, or a 16.6% increase. Rep. Bob Brooks (R-Allegheny/Westmoreland) made the following statement in response to the governor’s proposal.
“The Commonwealth cannot afford large increases in government spending because they become the basis for future years which cannot be sustained. This proposal equates to $17 million per day and $1,055 annually per working Pennsylvanian in new state spending. I am frustrated that he would develop such a plan knowing the hardships our hard-working constituents have faced over the past two years. We must deliver economic recovery and protect our families. We should not balance the budget or increase state spending on the backs of the most vulnerable.
“Our small businesses in Pennsylvania have had a tough year, with many going bankrupt or just hanging on. We have to make it better for them. The governor’s budget proposal is certainly not going to do that. In fact, it would only hand them several more hits. Many small businesses have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. First, the governor told them they can’t open their doors. With this spending and tax increase, the governor is telling them to pay up.
“The spending plan does not add any additional funding into the state’s Rainy Day Fund. Last year’s budget directed $2.52 billion into the fund. This is our state’s equivalent of a family’s savings account, meant to help us weather short-term economic slowdowns by using these funds to meet our obligations rather than turning to taxpayers to send more of their hard-earned money to Harrisburg.
“Moving forward, I plan to stand up for taxpayers, deliver on investing in our students, and help grow our economy by making sound, targeted investments.”
Brooks noted that the governor’s address is just the beginning of the annual state budget process. The House Appropriations Committee will conduct a series of hearings starting Tuesday, Feb. 15, to examine the details of the governor’s plan and how state agencies are spending their funding. A schedule of the hearings is available here
Representative Bob Brooks
54th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner
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