House Republican Members Continue Toward Fiscal Responsibility and Greater Transparency
HARRISBURG – Motivated by the light cast upon the Commonwealth’s current, failing budget system and policies over the past five months, an ad-hoc budget group of 18 rank-and-file House Republican members refused to stop with the submission of a no-tax-or-borrow budget revenue proposal. The group, which proposed using tax dollars stowed away in reserve accounts instead of increasing taxes, has continued to meet weekly since the submission of the proposal, and has formally organized as the Common Sense Caucus (CSC).  

The Common Sense Caucus is made of Reps. Dawn Keefer (R-Dillsburg), Seth Grove (R-Dover), Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York Township), Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill), Cris Dush (R-Jefferson/Indiana), Kate Klunk (R-Hanover), Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam), Paul Schemel (R-Franklin), Brett Miller (R-Lancaster), Joe Emrick (R-Nazareth), Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh/Berks), Dan Moul (R-Adams), Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin), Eric Nelson (R-Hempfield), Dave Zimmerman (R-Lancaster), Will Tallman (R-Adams/Cumberland), Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) and Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon).

Too many questions remain unanswered since the group’s extensive review of the 2017-18 budget proposals. Additionally, members are still waiting on a wealth of information that was requested from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration months ago. The CSC, is dedicated to championing transparent policies that facilitate recurring growth in Pennsylvania’s economy and restore public trust. 

The CSC’s agenda includes four key principles that will serve as the foundation of our work:

1.    Accountability and transparency: Policies that provide taxpayers easy access to information and codify accountability mechanisms for all Commonwealth spending.

2.    Regulatory reform: Drive policies that require legislative oversight, ensuring legislative intent remains intact and bureaucrats merely facilitate and do not legislate.

3.    Target budget cost drivers: Policies that address and reign in rapidly growing budget line-items, such as ever-expanding welfare enrollment and unchecked educational programming.

4.    Solid academic programming inclusive of options for all career paths: Foster policies respectful of individual needs and desires, as opposed to the current one-size-fits-all, academic efforts; irrespectively forcing a collegiate pursuit. 

Working with House Appropriations Chairman Stan Saylor, a series of hearings with administrative secretaries to secure additional information have been scheduled. The first hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14, with Secretary of Transportation Leslie Richards. The hearing can be watched live at The CSC is encouraged that these hearings have been scheduled and we’re hopeful that we can obtain the information we requested in August 2017.

The CSC is advocating four packages of bills, authored by a variety of House members, which specifically align with the CSC’s four core principals. For information on the four packages of bills, or details on the legislation, please contact Greg Gross at

The Common Sense Caucus
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact:  Greg Gross
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