Plan holds spending under rate of inflation, does not raise taxes
Five of Lancaster’s Republican House members voted today to pass a 2008-09 general fund budget that does not increase existing taxes or fees or impose any new ones.
Reps. John Bear (R-Lititz), Scott Boyd (R-West Lampeter), Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom), Gordon Denlinger (R- Churchtown), Dave Hickernell (R- West Donegal) and Katie True (R-East Hempfield) voted in favor of the budget that held state spending to lower than the rate of inflation.
“A plan has been crafted that meets our spending needs without exceeding the rate of inflation and without imposing even greater burdens on Pennsylvania’s taxpayers,” Hickernell said.
Denlinger added that he is pleased that efforts to raid the state’s Rainy Day Fund to pay for more spending were not adopted.
“The Rainy Day Fund was created as a resource to be used in times of financial crisis,” Denlinger said. “I strongly opposed efforts to dip into that fund in order to pay for more spending. It’s crucial for Pennsylvania’s financial viability that those efforts did not succeed and our $744 million Rainy Day Fund remains intact.”
Cutler commended the restoration and increase of funding for crop insurance. "Crop insurance funding received a $250,000 increase in the budget," Cutler said. "In difficult economic times, our farmers can enjoy at least this amount of peace of mind if problems beset their crops.”
Bear noted that school districts in his legislative district and across Pennsylvania all received a minimum 3 percent funding boost.
“We were able to provide an increase to the basic education subsidy for each of the Commonwealth's 501 school districts,” Bear said. “School districts, like each of our families and communities, are dealing with rising costs. This additional funding will help to address those costs, without imposing an additional burden on taxpayers.”
“I believe this is the best budget we have seen since Ed Rendell was elected,” True added. “By exercising some fiscal discipline and taking a serious look at our spending priorities, we were able to fund many programs that would have been originally cut from the governor’s budget.”
Boyd also noted the importance of negotiations that reversed Rendell’s intention to slow down the phase out of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax. “Businesses across the state are anticipated to save $270 million in this fiscal year since the phase out will continue at its current rate.”
The budget bill passed in the House by a vote of 170-32. It has also passed in the Senate and the governor is anticipated to sign the bill shortly.
Rep. John C. Bear - 97th District
Rep. Scott W. Boyd - 43rd District
Rep. Bryan Cutler - 100th District
Rep. Gordon Denlinger - 99th District
Rep. Dave Hickernell - 98th District
Rep. Katie True - 41st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Diane Moore
House Republican Public Relations