HARRISBURG – After listening to the governor’s 2018-19 budget proposal, Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) said today she is concerned by the overall price tag of the spending plan at $33 billion.
“The last few budget cycles have been extremely difficult, but we’ve been able to hold the line on broad-based tax increases and use existing money far more wisely,” Pickett said. “Now that we’ve been able to weather the storm and revenue projections are coming in as expected, the last thing we should be doing is spending a billion dollars more. Let’s make sure we’re using tax money as wisely and efficiently as possible.”
The governor again called for a graduated severance tax on natural gas harvested within the Marcellus Shale, along with a repeated ask for a $25 per person fee for state police coverage.
“I have serious reservations about the governor’s lack of attention to rural Pennsylvania,” Pickett said. “Although his budget doesn’t call for broad-based taxes, it does contain proposals that would financially hurt our area, especially along the Northern Tier. Instead of punishing areas with smaller populations, let’s work together to invest in our economy by promoting job creation, strengthening our education system, escaping government dysfunction and protecting families and communities.”
Tuesday’s address is the first step in the annual budget process, with a series of public hearings scheduled by both the House and Senate over the next month. A final budget is due by June 30.
“I am optimistic that this year’s process will be far more conductive and that we will be able to agree on a responsible, realistic budget,” Pickett added.
More information about the governor’s budget proposal is available at PAHouseGOP.com
Representative Tina Pickett
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton