Statement by Senator Lisa Baker on Governor Rendell’s Budget Proposal

Harrisburg – Senator Lisa Baker made the following statement following Governor Rendell’s budget address:

“The desire to deliver a state budget on time this year does not diminish the need to spend less and hold the line on state taxes. For me to vote for a state budget, it must be better in regard to controlling spending and avoiding tax increases than the current budget is.”

“It would be a serious mistake to continue Governor Rendell’s strategy of shrinking funding for services that disabled and vulnerable individuals depend on. Cuts in state programs were necessary last year, and will be needed again this year. But the Governor made a number of poor choices on where to eliminate programs or drastically reduce funding. Some very good programs have been zeroed out, while others that are really marginal in value continue to be funded. It makes no sense to anyone outside of state government to cut libraries that many citizens utilize, and yet keep a film tax credit for moviemakers.”

“Although the deficit is not expected to be as large as last year’s, this budget might be harder to solve because nearly all the state reserve funds have been drained.”

“If there is an assessment placed on the gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, the money generated should first be directed to the impacted communities, and to environmental protection and oversight efforts.”

“Just putting more money toward the pension problem is not enough of an answer for taxpayers. Steps have to be taken to shrink future costs of the pension systems.”

“At the same time we are trying to put together a responsible and affordable state budget, we should also be working on approving budget reform measures that will prevent the sort of harmful crisis that was inflicted on Pennsylvania last year. Two bills I recently introduced are a good starting point for this debate.”

Contact: Jennifer Wilson
(570) 675-3931

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