Baker Says Economic Situation Demands Reductions in State Budget

Will Work Toward Sensible, Practical Spending Plan

Dallas – As state revenue shortfalls continue to decline, Senator Lisa Baker (R-20) said the current economic situation demands substantial reductions in spending.

During his annual budget address today, Governor Ed Rendell projected a $2.3 billion shortfall by the end of this fiscal year.

“It is clearly the wrong time to raise taxes, and layoffs and business closings may leave us with even less money than currently estimated,” said Baker. “Our emphasis needs to be on downsizing state government and cutting ineffective programs.”

While the governor’s budget proposal eliminates programs and includes some significant reductions, it still features a $1.26 billion increase in overall spending.

“Some of the cuts are in the wrong places,” Baker said. “It doesn’t make sense to put more money into new programs that have no track record and then reduce funding for long-standing programs and institutions that have made a real difference.”

Baker said she does not agree with the governor’s plan to legalize video poker to provide grants for students to attend public universities and community colleges.

“It is a noble purpose to try to help kids go to college, but video poker is a terrible way to pay for it,” she said. “No matter how you look at it, legalizing an illegal activity is an expansion of gambling.”

Baker added that as a member of the Appropriations Committee, she will have a chance to question the decisions made in putting together the governor’s budget proposal and will play a role in determining where the plan fails to meet community needs.

Contact: Jen Wilson
jwilson@pasen.gov
(570) 675-3931