Scarnati: Senate Committee Advances Taxpayer Protection Legislation

(HARRISBURG) – The Senate Finance Committee has advanced legislation to limit the growth of state government spending in Pennsylvania, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25).

Scarnati, a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 7, known as the Taxpayer Protection Act, explained that the legislation will help protect taxpayers by ensuring that state spending has appropriate accountability and does not exceed certain inflationary thresholds.  The bill was passed by the Committee on Tuesday by a vote of 7 to 4.

“Every day hard working families across Pennsylvania are faced with spending decisions in order to make sure they are living within their means,” Scarnati said.  “It is important that as a Commonwealth we also make a commitment to reject excessive spending that could hurt our state’s economic future and our ability to compete.”

According to Scarnati, SB7 would reasonably limit the growth of state spending through the lower of the following thresholds:

  • Limit state government spending to the average change in personal income for the three preceding calendar years, OR
  • Limit state government spending to the average inflation rate plus the average percentage change in state population over the three preceding years (with exceptions for certain extraordinary circumstances).

“I commend my colleague and SB7’s prime sponsor, Senator Folmer for his work on this important measure to bring greater fiscal responsibility to state government,” Scarnati said.  “After sitting at the budget negotiation table for the past several years I understand the need for this initiative and will be a strong voice for passage as debate on the issue moves forward.  I think it is more than fair for legislators to be required to keep in mind that with any increase in spending there is a direct impact to taxpayers.”

Scarnati noted that the legislature has successfully passed budgets within the parameters of the Taxpayer Protection Act in each of the last four years.

“The Republican controlled legislature has made it a priority to pass on time, reasonable and responsible budgets the past four years,” Scarnati explained.  “Enactment of this landmark legislation will ensure that future governors and legislatures continue to spend within their means without unduly burdening hardworking Pennsylvanians.”
“In addition to this common sense measure, I will also continue to push for meaningful public pension reform which will allow state government and our local school districts to control future costs for all taxpayers,” Scarnati concluded.

CONTACT: Casey Long clong@pasen.gov       (717) 787-7084