Representative Sam Smith
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Date: May 18, 2009 Contact: Stephen Miskin (717) 787-3845
House Republican Leader Asks When House Democrat Funding Bill Will Be Introduced
Instead of criticizing Senate-passed budget, show us the money to pay for the Democrat budget proposal
HARRISBURG - Noting Gov. Ed Rendell's admission that "it's not a good time to raise taxes," House Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County) called on the House Democrat leaders to end their criticism of the Senate-passed budget and tell the people of Pennsylvania what taxes they plan to increase to pay for their $28.9 billion budget proposal (House Bill 1416).
"The Senate recently debated and passed a state budget that ensures essential government services are funded, yet limits state spending to how much money we will actually have," Smith said. "Pennsylvania just does not have the money to fund everything everybody wants.
"The Legislature is not cutting the Commonwealth's budget; the recession and reduced state tax revenue is cutting the budget. If we expect about $25 billion in revenue, and we have about another $2.3 billion in federal stimulus relief funds, then we have only $27.3 billion to spend.
"Even Governor Rendell's budget proposes dramatic cuts to education programs, health and welfare, as well as to many economic and community development programs. The Democrat budget shifts program funding to pay for their pet projects, yet actually increases overall spending.
"The Senate-passed budget deals with Pennsylvania's revenue reality and sets spending at a level we can afford without cutting into the budgets of working families.
"Since Senate Bill 850 was based on the governor's original proposal, the criticism he and his agencies are launching is a little baffling. We know how much money we actually have to spend. Now it is time to come together and decide what should be funded with those available dollars.
"If the Democrats want to spend more money than we have, they will need to introduce a funding plan to match their spending plan. They need to show all of Pennsylvania how they want to pay for their budget."
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