Gov. Wolf’s budget increases spending by more than $4.5 billion, leading to higher taxes and energy costs.
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Republican leaders in the Senate cautioned Pennsylvanians that they would be on the hook to pay for Gov. Tom Wolf’s legacy if the recommendations outlined in today’s State Budget Address are implemented.
Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte), Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland), and Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) said the governor’s plan to increase spending by more than $4.5 billion would come at the expense of Pennsylvania’s long-term financial security. The money Wolf is proposing to spend on one-time expenses could be better spent over the next several years to prevent massive tax increases. Furthermore, Gov. Wolf’s massive spending plan comes at a time when we are trying to help Pennsylvania business owners get back on their feet, while also working to return the economic and personal freedoms to Pennsylvania residents that were limited with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte):
“Pennsylvanians will not forget how terribly the Wolf Administration mismanaged the COVID-19 pandemic. Now he is trying to buy back the support of alienated voters by using money that we already planned to invest in the health, safety and prosperity of our citizens in the years ahead. Instead of caving in to Gov. Wolf’s transparent attempt to distract from his past failures, we will work to pass a realistic and responsible budget that meets the core needs of our communities and puts people first.”
Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland):
“It’s important that we help Pennsylvanians move beyond the financial strains we have all felt the last couple of years due to the pandemic, and work toward helping our businesses and our families to move forward. Shaking off the negative economic impacts is easier said than done. Every action that affects our economy and that we take as a government should be to help, not hinder. A spending increase of $4.5 billion will not be helpful. It will only intensify the personal financial pressures on Pennsylvanians in the form of higher taxes, energy prices, and the overall economic conditions confronting our nation including inflation and supply chain disruptions. Spending billions right now may sound appealing, but that can’t be done in a vacuum. Pennsylvanians will pay for that. Pennsylvania’s budget requires discipline that continues to move the Commonwealth towards a path of economic stability and success, not a budget that saddles our families with legacy payments. This budget kind of reminds me of Wimpy from the Popeye cartoon – ‘I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.’ It doesn’t work.”
Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Pat Browne (R-Lehigh):
“While this year’s revenues continue to outpace estimates, the long-term financial picture for the Commonwealth remains uncertain. The Governor’s revenue and spending projections over the next several years are unrealistic, do not align with traditional rates of growth and will make worse our existing structural imbalance. Using more traditional growth rates that are in line with those used by the Commonwealth’s Independent Fiscal Office, the Commonwealth will see a negative balance of $13 billion by FY 2026-27 if the Governor’s spending becomes law. Given those concerns, the Governor’s proposal for major increases in spending is very troubling. If enacted, his proposal will require large tax increases to Pennsylvania taxpayers and job creators to meet the level of spending the Governor proposes.”