(HARRISBURG) – On Tuesday the State Senate sent to the Governor’s desk a 2015-16 state budget that boosts education funding and funds essential services without raising taxes, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson).
“On June 30th we sent a balanced budget to the governor that required no tax increases,” Scarnati said. “I am deeply disappointed that Governor Wolf chose to veto this responsible budget plan that increases education funding, provides funding for critical state services and places the hardworking taxpayers of Pennsylvania first.”
Scarnati explained that House Bill 1192 is a balanced budget that includes no new taxes or new tax increases and invests $370 million more in education. It also includes fundamental changes to the state’s pension and liquor systems. The budget was presented to the Governor by the constitutionally mandated date of June 30th.
Highlights of the No Tax Increase Budget Vetoed by the Governor:
$30.1 billion in total state spending.
$100 million more in new state dollars for basic education that is combined with reforms to the basic education funding formula and improvements in accountability.
$20 million more for special education.
$30 million more for early education, including Pre-K Counts and Head Start.
$300 million in savings for the state and school districts to pay for capital improvements.
$50 million more across the board for higher education.
$2.8 million to address avian flu.
Expanding community-based services for seniors to help keep them in their homes and communities.
Structural reform to the pension system, which is the primary cost driver for the state and school districts.
$220 million in additional revenues through liquor reforms.
Scarnati noted that in March the Governor had introduced a massive tax and spend budget that included tax increases totaling $4.7 billion for the 2015-16 fiscal year – the largest increase in state history. However when the revenue needed for that spending plan was brought up for a vote in the House of Representatives, it did not receive a single positive vote. After trying to negotiate with the Governor for months, the General Assembly crafted House Bill 1192.
“The hard working men and women of our state deserve to have a government that provides the core public services they expect,” Scarnati said. “I will continue to engage in talks with the Governor and work diligently to see that taxpayers are not burdened by the massive tax increases Governor Wolf continues to push for.”