HARRISBURG – Rep. Ryan Warner (R-Fayette/Westmoreland) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal:
“Today, the governor presented his budget plan for Pennsylvania, which included a 16 percent increase in state spending. While the governor continues to talk about cutting government waste, I have yet to see true commitment to that cause. At a time when we should be tightening our belts and spending within our means, it is disappointing that the governor would unveil the largest spending plan in state history, with $4.7 billion in new state spending.
The governor’s spending plan is funded almost entirely by placing additional burdens on the already hard hit middle-class families and small businesses. As proposed, Pennsylvania families would see a 21 percent increase in their Personal Income Tax liabilities.
In his budget address to the Legislature, the governor mentioned several times the need for high quality education for Pennsylvania’s young people. While I agree with Governor Wolf that our students need the best possible education in order to be competitive in the global marketplace, it is time to get serious about changes to the state’s education system. Funding, while important, is only part of the solution. Pennsylvania invests more money per student than many of our fellow states, and more than many competitive countries around the globe. Yet, our students are not succeeding as they should. We must stop playing education politics, and focus on education policy.
And finally, I was gravely disappointed to learn that the governor’s inflated spending plan actually included a devastating blow to agriculture, Pennsylvania’s number one industry, with the elimination of many agricultural appropriations focused on research, promotion, education and exports.
While there are parts of the budget that I am eager to learn more about, such as property tax relief and creating job training and apprenticeship programs, I simply cannot support a spending plan that is based fundamentally on the belief that we can tax and spend our way to prosperity.
I look forward to bi-partisan cooperation with the governor, House and Senate.
Representative Ryan Warner
52nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Morgan Wagner