FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
PA Chamber to lawmakers: enact fiscally responsible state budget
HARRISBURG, PA – With only 28 days remaining until the deadline for enactment of the 2009-10 state budget, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is urging House legislative leaders to craft a proposal that recognizes the need for fiscal restraint.
"Individuals and businesses know that spending within one’s means makes the most sense and is the most fiscally responsible thing to do," stressed Gene Barr, PA Chamber vice president of government and public affairs.
A $27.3 billion budget proposal recently advanced by the Senate would remove $1.7 billion in spending from the Rendell administration’s budget. It calls for program funding cuts, relies on federal stimulus funds to supplement state programs, and contains no tax increases.
"There is no question that budget cuts are difficult," Barr said. "But with the revenue deficit now at more than $2.8 billion dollars and an economy in which higher taxes will hamper recovery, everyone has to be willing to make sacrifices."
Barr pointed out that some of the Senate budget cuts target the business community.
"Many businesses utilize these programs," he said. "However, our members are clear in that they would rather see a rethinking of programs that benefit only a handful of companies rather than tax increases that would adversely impact job creation across the board."
Responsible funding choices are evident in other areas of the budget as well.
"The Senate budget provides adequate funding for various environmental programs and initiatives, and recognizes that there will be significant federal dollars for such worthwhile programs as weatherization, which helps low-income residents make their homes energy efficient, saving them money," he noted.
Businesses and families have had to make tough choices as a result of the recession. Government must be prepared to do so as well, not only to get through the current budget crisis, but in order to be prepared for challenging years ahead.
"Fiscal restraint and sacrifices across the board now will ultimately help better position the Commonwealth for the future," Barr said.
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state’s largest broad-based business advocacy association, representing businesses crossing all industry sectors and of all sizes. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of Business.