House Republicans Unveil Balanced and Responsible No-Tax-Increase Budget
Plan addresses Pennsylvaniaâ€™s priorities without burdening taxpayers
The House Republican Caucus today unveiled its $27.27 billion, no-tax-increase budget proposal in an effort to bring about a sense of budgetary responsibility in Pennsylvania and end the stateâ€™s budget impasse.
Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Punxsutawney) and Republican Appropriations Committee Chairman Mario J. Civera Jr. (R-Upper Darby) said the plan continues to fund vital services while cutting government operating costs to make ends meet.
â€œPennsylvanians expect a balanced budget, and they canâ€™t afford more taxes. House Republicans are offering a plan which meets those expectations,â€ Smith said. â€œHouse Democrats have gone from one extreme to the other, yet, despite the budget deadline having passed more than a week ago, they still havenâ€™t brought a budget bill to the floor.
â€œAs consequences mount without a budget, Republicans think the Democratsâ€™ approach is irresponsible.â€
The Republicanâ€™s fiscally responsible alternative increases funding for public education and continues funding for state parks, hospitals and universities.
â€œToday, weâ€™re presenting a $27.27 billion budget with no tax increases that ensures each school district gets increased funding. It continues necessary government services and avoids the thousands of layoffs projected by the governor and House Democrats. The Republican priority has always been protecting public safety, human services and educating our kids… our budget proposal accomplishes it.â€
To balance the budget in the face of declining revenues and a $3.2 billion deficit, House Republicans are proposing a tax amnesty program to collect an estimated $1.5 billion in back taxes, as well as leasing of state-owned lands for natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region.
â€œWe have brought to the people of Pennsylvania a balanced and fiscally responsible spending plan that does not raise a single tax. The governor and House Democrats said it could not be done, and we are here today to show them it can,â€ Civera said.
â€œThis plan does what every family in the Commonwealth has to do every day â€“ it budgets what we can afford. It protects the stateâ€™s priorities like education and public safety, and it ensures we are prepared for what may lie ahead.
â€œI admit it does not come without some pain. There were a lot of tough decisions made in this budget. But we took leadership and did what needed to be done.â€
Representative Sam Smith
Pennsylvania House of Representatives