York County House Republicans Question Consequences of Budget Bill Passage

York County House Republication delegation members Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam), Seth Grove (R-Dover), Ron Miller (R-Jacobus), Scott Perry (R-Dillsburg) and Will Tallman (R-Hanover) offered a response to Wednesday’s passage of the 2010-11 state budget, after their vote against House Bill 2279:


“In light of last year’s 101-day budget debacle, we applaud state House and Senate leadership for working together to complete a spending plan in a more responsible manner. Last year’s fiasco was an embarrassment to the General Assembly and to the legislative process. Thankfully, we have provided a better example for our constituents in passing a budget on time this year.


“We were successful in achieving a $1 billion reduction in spending from the governor’s original request. Current economic conditions force our constituents to make difficult decisions with regard to their finances, and we are encouraged that our consistent calls for frugality were at least considered.


“Our satisfaction with the timeline and belt-tightening is overshadowed by our dissatisfaction with the finished product. Outside of a possible severance tax on extraction of natural gas, the budget passed by the General Assembly is reliant on no new taxes; however, this spending plan does tax future generations and budget negotiations through its further dependence on debt and its lack of regard for what lies ahead.


“This budget is almost $3 billion more than projected revenues, is reliant on $35 million in one-time transfers and increases debt service by $57.3 million. It uses federal stimulus dollars to maintain programs and spending elements that will be placed in jeopardy when those same stimulus dollars are no longer available next year. As a result, we are looking at a potential $5 billion structural deficit for fiscal year 2011-12 by not significantly reducing spending this year.


“Its biggest sin is a continued dependence on revenue that is far from guaranteed. Last year, this administration raided the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCare) Fund, money that was not rightfully theirs, a point that was reinforced in court. Now the governor is challenging constitutionality by balancing a budget on $850 million in federal dollars that have yet to be approved and stand a decent chance of never being realized. Should these funds fail to become a reality, our budget will contain a gaping hole, leaving us in crisis mode by having to suddenly come up with a substantial pool of money.


“The General Assembly moved in the right direction by reducing spending. We have pledged to serve our constituents in a fiscally-prudent manner, and promise to continue the fight for good government and responsible spending practices in better stewardship of taxpayer dollars.”


Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Scott B. Little
House Republican Public Relations
(717) 260-6137

Share |