HARRISBURG — Sen. Lisa Baker, R-20th, issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2017-18 budget:
“Because of the well-documented financial challenges facing us, and the disagreements over the past two years, this proposal will require more in-depth scrutiny than is customary. There will be a lot of digging into the details and testing the practicality of the proposals on both the spending and revenue sides of the plan.
The need for new revenue to cover the deficit does not mean every recommendation makes good policy or economic sense.
Long-range budget stability is unlikely without substantially reforming the two statewide pension systems.
That the Wolf Administration has now acknowledged serious problems within the unemployment compensation system means that a harder look needs to be taken at other “automatic” spending requests contained within the budget.
The consolidation of four state departments is the sort of management improvement that warrants consideration. We have to determine the best way to achieve cost savings without causing disruption for local service providers and recipients.
Given the challenges small rural communities face in providing extensive services at an affordable cost, it has always seemed unfair to burden them with added costs for police coverage. So this latest proposal will be looked at with a skeptical eye.”
Contact: Andrew M. Seder