HARRISBURG – Senator Lisa Baker, R-20th District, offered the following comments on the governor’s 2018-19 budget plan:
“This fourth budget plan in scope appears to be the least confrontational submitted by Governor Wolf, so there is reason to hope an agreement can be reached by the constitutional deadline and avoid the disruption of previous years.
His budget includes some warmed over tax and revenue-raising proposals that failed to attract support in the past, so the overall spending is probably set too high.
He has picked areas of common priority, such as education, training, and workforce development, to recommend substantial funding increases. But the money will not accomplish as much as it should without corresponding changes in policy and program operation. There are more than a few places in state government where the big problem is not an insufficiency of funds; rather the manner in which the money is used has not kept pace with changes in the economy and our communities and family circumstances.
There are clearly areas of common ground, such as the aggressive steps to combat the opioid crisis devastating families and communities in every part of the Commonwealth.
It is unfortunate that the governor has continued the tradition of zeroing out programs in agriculture and health care that have proved their value to communities and residents over the years. Part of our budget effort will be directed toward restoring these funds.
Now that the administration has had a year to refine their department consolidation proposal, there are more specifics available for us to evaluate and make a decision. My committee will be taking an intensive look at the revised plan, beyond the airing it will receive during budget hearings.”
Andrew M. Seder
District Communications/Constituent Services for Pike and Wayne Counties
Office of Senator Lisa Baker
2512 Route 6
Hawley, PA 18428