Lancaster County House GOP Delegation Responds to Governor’s Budget Address
HARRISBURG – Today, Gov. Tom Wolf addressed a joint session of the General Assembly on his administration’s 2017-18 budget proposal.
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), Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz), Brett Miller (R-East Hempfield) and Dave Zimmerman (R-East Earl) – issued the following statement:
“The governor today presented his budget proposal, officially beginning the 2017-18 budget process. Now the House must get to work holding Appropriations Committee hearings and developing legislation that can serve as a vehicle for the final budget.
“Restructuring government is another key to driving down annual state budgets. The recently-renamed state Department of Human Services (formerly the Department of Welfare) has some 16,000 employees. That is excessive for a state with a population of 12.8 million people. Many other departments are duplicative and similarly overstaffed and can and should be consolidated as well. The governor has signaled a willingness to work with us on this front with consolidation of redundant functions of government and elimination of unnecessary agencies.
“It must be noted that the biggest cost driver to state government is the state’s two public pensions systems. Whether pension reform is part of the budget, or we get an agreement during negotiations to move it separately, at more than $61 billion in unfunded liabilities, Pennsylvania’s pension crisis must be addressed. While the plan laid out today moves government spending in the right direction, we believe if pensions are not part of the discussions, we may miss a real opportunity for reform on this crucial issue.
The Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME) has already produced savings, so there is some evidence that he may be willing to go further with government reform and restructuring than we have accomplished in the past.”
Lancaster County House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Charles Lardner