– In light of Sen. Vincent Hughes’ (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) plan to spend surplus revenue from the 2018-19 state budget, or tap special fund reserve accounts for $125 million, Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover) issued the following statement:
“After being told by the Wolf administration the money in these special fund reserve accounts were committed and couldn’t be used to fill the budget gap two years ago, I’m shocked to hear Sen. Hughes and his Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate now want to tap this funding stream for new spending. Especially after their opposition to Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to use special funds to balance next year’s budget.
“Two years ago, the administration and Democrats pushed for broad tax increases, which were thankfully staved off by House Republicans, instead of using these reserve accounts. Demanding more money from taxpayers when there is money sitting idle in accounts was irresponsible. Wanting to spend the current fiscal year’s surplus is reckless. We must plan for the future and put the surplus away in the rainy day fund for when the economy does falter and tax revenue decreases, as well as, improve our bond rating and stabilize the general fund cash flow.
“Under Hughes’ plans, $125 million would come from either the budget surplus, or the special fund reserve accounts. The majority of the money, $85 million, would go to Philadelphia while the rest of the state would be left to divvy up $40 million.
“I am, however, glad to hear the money in these special fund reserve accounts isn’t committed, as the administration previously stated. I also believe we should use these funds to improve the financial health of the Commonwealth. To put our financial health into perspective, Pew Charitable Trust ranks Pennsylvania as 50 out of 50 for its ability to operate on its rainy day fund. Illinois is 49th.”
Representative Seth Grove
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross