Harrisburg, PA – Citing the need to keep state spending in check with revenues, Rep. Rosemary M. Brown (R-Monroe/Pike) said the governor’s 2012-13 state budget proposal reflects current economic conditions while looking to fund many core government services.
“For the first half of the current fiscal year, revenues are already $500 million below estimates, and although I’m hopeful that the economy will rebound, we need to make budget decisions on the information right in front of us. The state government has less revenue because our citizens have less. This is just another verification that people cannot be taxed anymore,” said Brown. “This proposed budget reflects economic realities by right-sizing government services and keeping an eye on the people who foot the bill – taxpayers.”
The $27.1 billion budget plan, which was presented today by Gov. Tom Corbett during a joint session of the General Assembly, includes slight increases for basic education in kindergarten through 12th grade but trims spending for other programs. Many programs across a majority of state government departments are slated to receive the same amount of funding as the current budget.
Overall, the spending plan proposal is 0.1 percent less than the current fiscal year. The budget proposal also includes incentives to increase economic development opportunities, which Brown said will be critical in helping to improve Pennsylvania’s economy and stabilizing property taxes. The budget address focused on creating jobs and continuing the improvement to the business climate which is a priority.
Brown was disappointed in a projected cut to the State System of Higher Education, of which East Stroudsburg University is part, but she emphasized today’s budget address is just the start of the months-long process.
To view Brown’s budget comments, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWD0_QJ28q4&feature=plcp&context=C39c06adUDOEgsToPDskLLjSk62GwK_qfnDbAL3-K1.
“This budget isn’t perfect but I think that, based on what we learned today, it’s responsible,” Brown said. “Over the course of the next four months, we’ll be looking at every line and every dollar to ensure that taxpayer money is being spent as efficiently as possible. If our revenues improve, and I hope they do, we’ll be able to make adjustments. But for right now, we must base our budget decisions on reality. We cannot spend more money than we have; it is not an option.”
“Regardless of political affiliation, I believe people understand and support efforts to curtail state spending. In a household, families cannot spend more than they have, and if they do, it eventually catches up with them. The state did that in prior years, and now it is time to be fiscally responsible. It isn’t fun or easy, but it is the reality.”