Wagner Responds to Governor’s Budget Address

HARRISBURG – Senator Scott Wagner (R-York) has issued the following statement in response to Governor Wolf’s budget address to a joint session of the General Assembly this morning.

“Governor Wolf finally acknowledges the need to rein in spending and to create a leaner, more efficient state government. Of course, achieving this end goal takes action beyond simply zeroing out line items on a budget sheet.”

“During his remarks today, Governor Wolf gave us a lot of feel-good talking points. It is important to remember though that Governor Wolf’s proposal still increases spending by 1.8% over the current fiscal year’s budget. While this is a marked improvement over his first two budgets, considering the Commonwealth is facing a $3 billion shortfall, the final spend number should be less, not more.”

“While Governor Wolf touts that his budget does not call for broad-based tax increases, understand that he is still calling for $1 billion in tax increases to feed the traditional tax and spend beast that is our state government.”

“Governor Wolf referenced a Harrisburg in which ‘special interests always found a way to avoid giving up their special privileges’. If the Governor expects to truly rein in spending, he needs to take his own statement seriously and not allow special interest groups to control the conversation. He continues to propose increased spending for education without addressing the cost drivers of our education system – pensions, salaries, and benefits.”

“Obviously, today is only the beginning of the process for the 2017-2018 state budget.  I look forward to getting the Senate Appropriations Budget Hearings underway in two weeks. I anticipate asking the heads of each department very pointed questions in order to achieve a truly fiscally responsible budget that brings efficiency to our state government and accountability to taxpayer dollars.”

CONTACT: Erin K. Marsicano, 717-787-3817, emarsicano@pasen.gov