Senate Republican leaders offered the following reaction to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2016-17, which he announced today. His plan would increase taxes on state residents and job-creators by $3.6 billion and spending by $2.45 billion.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25): “Governor Wolf’s 2016-17 budget proposal is astounding. He doubles down on his 2015-16 proposal to include even more runaway spending and massive taxes in this year’s proposal.
Because of his continued refusal to responsibly address cost drivers in desperate need of reform, his 2016-17 budget plan is actually even more harmful than last year. Strong and effective leadership requires learning from past mistakes, not repeating the same errors.
Our Commonwealth desperately needs a responsible budget that focuses on fiscal restraint and core priorities. We cannot afford expansive spending on feel good programs that have little or no accountability. It is clear from last year that Pennsylvanians certainly cannot afford Governor Wolf’s colossal proposed tax increases, which simply don’t have the support in the General Assembly.”
Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34): “If the governor is genuinely trying to sell this budget proposal as ‘new’ he really should have delivered this address last Tuesday on Groundhog Day. This retread budget proposal offers superficial changes to his sizable tax-and-spend plan that has already been soundly opposed by taxpayers.
In asking for a $3.6 billion tax increase, it is appropriate that the governor delivered this proposal on ‘Fat Tuesday.’ After all, he’s asking taxpayers to foot the bill to fatten state spending.
The governor is doubling down on his failures to provide leadership on accomplishing a bipartisan budget agreement and is being disingenuous on the starting point for his ‘new’ proposal.
The framework basis for his budget died the day that pension reform died after the governor failed to garner the support for his plans from within his own party. Now, the governor is asking for even more taxpayer money but he has yet to show that he has support for that plan.”
Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Pat Browne (R-16): “It is important for us, as representatives of the people of Commonwealth, to enact a budget that will adequately fund our schools and provide financial support to vital programs and services. However, we must do so in a fiscally responsible way. The Governor’s proposed massive spending increases are simply unsustainable and place too much burden on Pennsylvania families and job creators.”
Senate Majority Whip John Gordner (R-27): “As hard-working families continue to live within their means and small business owners struggle to stay on budget with expenses, Pennsylvania residents are asking their state government to do the same. It is past time that Governor Wolf understands that taxpayers are not supportive of record tax increases and record spending increases.”