York County House Republican Delegation Votes to Move 2014-15 Budget Proposal
HARRISBURG – The $29.1 billion House state budget plan supported York County’s House Republican delegation tonight is a $536 million increase over the 2013-14 fiscal year budget and increases K-12 education spending over the previous budget and funds the core functions of government without raising taxes.

The budget proposal passed in the House tonight also increases funding for intellectual disabilities programs, county child welfare services, as well as increases for the rape crisis and domestic violence prevention programs, formalizing House members’ priorities as negotiations continue with the Senate.

The delegation’s members – House Majority Whip Stan Saylor (R-Red Lion), Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover), Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam), Rep. Ron Miller (R-Jacobus), Rep. Mike Regan (R-Dillsburg) and Rep. Will Tallman (R-Hanover) – made the following comments after the 110-93 House floor vote approving the spending plan.

“Just last month, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent, the lowest rate since September 2008, and jobs in the private sector are at a record high,” Saylor said. “It is clear that when politicians control government spending to the amount of money the government takes in and keeps it hands out of the pockets of hard-working Pennsylvanians, the economy improves.”

“Conversely, we have a model for what does not work – the federal government has increased taxes and spending over the same period of time and nationally we have 92 million Americans without jobs, the highest welfare spending in the history of our nation - $80 billion annually - and the highest debt we have ever seen - $17 trillion at latest count,” Saylor said.

Miller remarked on the commitments to Pennsylvania’s natural resources.

“As majority chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, I wholeheartedly agree with the more than eight percent increase in the environmental protection line item,” Miller said. “The majority of this hike is in programs and protection, which means expanding educational opportunities and ensuring a clean, safe infrastructure for all Pennsylvanians.”

Grove noted that while the entire budget is a 1.9 percent increase over the current budget, it keeps spending below the numbers specified by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights while boosting K-12 education spending by 3.9 percent, the largest single line item increase. In addition, the spending measure proposes to inject another $10 million into school construction, on top of House Bill 2124 which will overhaul the state’s problematic PlanCon program and creates savings of $112 million to fund school construction projects.

“The Act 1 index limits school districts tax increases to 2.1 percent, but under this budget we actually increase that amount of total education subsidies by 3.5 percent,” Grove said. “And for the first time in seven years, we are significantly increasing state funding for special education by $20 million as the federal government has failed to properly fund this federal mandate for our schools.”

Regan touted the public safety aspect of the plan, and the continued commitment to the disabled.

“This spending plan continues our commitment to public safety by providing $11.4 million to train four new state police cadet classes to ensure the ranks of our state police are filled with well-trained troopers as we continue to see vacancies caused by a surge in retirements,” Regan said. “I am also pleased to see us continue to work to reduce the waiting lists of the intellectually disabled seeking assistance on the county level with a $13 million increase to those programs.”

Gillespie commented on the proposal’s funding for the most vulnerable in our communities.

“The additional funding for welfare also protects our most vulnerable citizens by increasing funding for domestic violence and rape crisis centers,” added Gillespie.
“While we live in difficult economic times, we have an obligation to assist those in the greatest need. Support for these centers, as well as sending more money to child welfare at the county level, demonstrates our commitment to those who need our help.”

Tallman said supporting farmers is key to the state’s economy.

“I am pleased to see agriculture, Pennsylvania’s No.1 industry, will see an increase in funding (1.6 percent),” said Tallman. “Items such as agriculture research, promotion, education, and exports are restored after being cut, as are the line items for the Livestock Show, Open Dairy Show, Food Marketing and Research and PA Preferred. I appreciate this budget respecting our family farmers without having to increase taxes in order to do it.”

The measure now moves to the Senate for consideration.

York County House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Scott Little
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