HARRISBURG – Senator Ryan Aument (R-Landisville) today issued the following statement on Governor Wolf’s second budget proposal, which was submitted to the General Assembly in a Joint Session of the House of Representatives and Senate:
One year ago we welcomed a new and ‘different kind of’ Governor. He promised the people of Lancaster County and all Pennsylvanians that he would promote schools that teach, government that works and jobs that pay.
To achieve those goals, his first budget proposed $4.7 billion in spending increases, which required a 20.5% increase in the personal income tax, 10% increase (and expansion) of the sales and use tax, and increases in other taxes and as well as the imposition of new taxes.
Throughout 2015, the General Assembly considered the Governor’s requests, and time and again those increases failed to receive a majority vote in both the House and Senate. I also personally heard from many constituents, business owners and others that were adamant that state government is already big and expensive enough.
Instead, an affordable spending plan was adopted in December, which Governor Wolf subsequently signed into law, while also line-item vetoing approximately $6 billion. This has left the important work of the 2015-16 budget unfinished.
Today, Governor Wolf has offered his second budget address, which again calls for unaffordable, unsustainable increases in spending. To be sure, if the Governor’s proposal were to become law, it would absolutely require additional taxes.
This may be what Governor Wolf would like, but it is not what the people of the 36th Senatorial District believe is best. Further, this is approach completely fails the goals that Governor Wolf set forward when he first assumed office.
For the first time in modern Pennsylvania history, our Governor has now offered a second budget without completing the first one, and for an entire year, critical human service programs and other programs were denied state funding. Certainly that is not government that works.
By vetoing billions in funding for our schools, the Governor failed to fully fund them for the 2015-16 year. How does that promote schools that teach, especially when many had to borrow money to operate or were nearly forced to close due to lack of state funding support?
And taking more money from a person’s paycheck through higher personal income higher taxes means jobs will pay less, not more.
Some have argued that the disagreements between Governor Wolf and the General Assembly are partisan. This is not true at all. The debates we are having about the future of our state are too important to be left to petty politics.
Instead, we’re engaged in a consequential discussion about the future of Lancaster County and Pennsylvania – about how best to create a society where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.
I believe that this happens through the promotion of the free enterprise system, excellent schools, strong families and vibrant communities and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the General Assembly and the Governor to accomplish those goals.
CONTACT: Jake Smeltz, (717) 787-4420