Lancaster County House Republican Delegation Responds to Governor’s Budget Proposal
HARRISBURG – Today, the Lancaster County House Republican Delegation was present for a joint session of the General Assembly as Gov. Tom Wolf delivered his budget address for 2016-17.
The $33.29 billion spending plan requires a $2.7 billion tax increase, which would be generated in part from an 11 percent increase in the Personal Income Tax; an expansion of the sales tax to include items such as cable television and movie tickets; and a tax on all tobacco products.
The Lancaster County Republican Delegation – State Reps. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom), Mindy Fee (R-Manheim), Keith J. Greiner (R-Upper Leacock), Dave Hickernell (R-West Donegal), Brett Miller (R-East Hempfield), Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz) and Dave Zimmerman (R-East Earl) - issued the following statements on Wolf’s budget proposal:
“With a year full of opportunities for the governor to learn that Pennsylvania residents rightfully expect something in return for a broad-based tax increase, we are disappointed to begin budget negotiations with such an undesirable offer. We simply cannot support a Personal Income Tax increase – especially since it is retroactive to Jan. 1 – without a strong benefit to our residents, such as dollar-for-dollar property tax relief.
“The governor also continues to obstruct the development of the Commonwealth’s No. 1 industry. He vetoed funding for important agricultural programs in the 2015-16 budget and perpetuates those eliminations with his 2016-17 budget proposal. Without the necessary dedicated funding, we will be unable to address an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which could result in food shortages and the loss of more than 53,000 jobs that pay more than $3.2 billion in wages.
“We are so disappointed that the governor continues to endanger the health of Commonwealth citizens by eliminating funding for many important health services such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and epilepsy support services, lupus, regional cancer institutes, trauma prevention, diabetes programs and regional poison control centers. Cutting funding to care for people who are living with these health issues who need our support is unacceptable and cowardly.
“To serve the people of the Commonwealth, we need to set aside our own agendas and remember that we are all public servants. Playing political games, like the governor requesting virtually the same human services funding that he vetoed when the General Assembly presented it to him, is doing a disservice to everyone living in Pennsylvania. We must stop wasting time posturing and instead focus on real budget proposals to protect Commonwealth citizens.
“We support a budget that gives to – not takes from – taxpayers. To raise taxes while simultaneously removing critical services that residents need directly opposes what we are hearing for our constituents.”
Lancaster County House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Evans