Lancaster County House Republican Members Support Responsible State Budget
Invests additional $250 million in education, no broad-based tax increases
HARRISBURG- Members of the Lancaster County House Republican Delegation today voted to support a fiscally responsible state budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year. The budget totals $31.55 billion—nearly $2 billion less than originally proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf and does not include any broad-based tax increases. Wolf previously had proposed more than $3 billion in tax increases, including an 11 percent increase in the Personal Income Tax.
This budget includes a historic investment in education, including $200 million in basic education funding, a $30 million increase in the Pre-K Counts and Headstart programs, and $20 million in additional funding for special education. Lancaster County funding priorities, including $15 million to combat the heroin epidemic, $2 million in avian flu preparation and response, and funding to provide for three additional classes of state troopers were also included in the budget.
The budget was approved by a bipartisan vote of 132 to 68 and heads to the Senate for consideration.
State Reps. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom), Mindy Fee (R-Manheim), Keith J. Greiner (R-Upper Leacock), Dave Hickernell (R-West Donegal), Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz), and Dave Zimmerman (R-East Earl) issued the following statement following today’s vote:
“Today, we voted to support a fiscally responsible budget that shields taxpayers and the middle class from burdensome broad-based tax hikes and adequately invests in Pennsylvania’s priorities, including $250 million in increased education spending. This budget is the culmination of months of negotiations, resulting in strong bipartisan support today and represents a ‘middle road’ which protects and benefits taxpayers.
“We recognize that there is more to be done to rein in our long-term cost drivers, including pension payments, federal health care mandates and corrections. We remain committed to continuing to fight for meaningful pension reform. This budget fully pays our actuarially required contribution to our pension systems as the General Assembly continues to work on reform. Additionally, we are thankful for the hard work of the House Appropriations Committee which identified more than $500 million in savings and efficiencies in the Department of Human Services—all while ensuring that the most vulnerable citizens receive the assistance they need.
“Our votes today will help ensure that the rancor and bitterness of last year’s budget process is a thing of the past and that a budget is adopted on time.”
Lancaster County House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Eric Reath