Harhart Issues Statement on 2016-17 Budget Proposal
HARRISBURG – Rep. Julie Harhart (R-Lehigh/Northampton) issued the following statement after Gov. Tom Wolf delivered his 2016-17 budget proposal, which again seeks to increase government spending and raise taxes on working Pennsylvanians.

“Gov. Wolf is once again seeking to take more money out of the pockets of working men and women to further grow state government. I simply cannot support broad-based tax increases that do not provide dollar-for-dollar real property tax reform because it would put too much of a strain on Pennsylvania families financially. With a sluggish economy and most people not seeing progressive increases in their annual salaries for several years, it would be detrimental to tax them further.

“I realize the governor has good intentions with wanting to increase the amount of money for schools, but we also need to think about the families whose children go to those schools and their financial struggles. Before sending more money to our public schools, we need to reform the public pension system, which is the largest cost driver for school budgets, as well as ease the many mandates schools must comply with. By doing this, we could free up more money the schools are already receiving to dedicate to students.

“Unfortunately, before we even look at addressing the 2016-17 state budget, we still have work to do to replace the more than $6 billion in cuts the governor made to the 2015-16 budget plan he signed into law in December. Several legislative measures are already being considered to replace the money he vetoed for critical areas, such as basic education, child advocacy centers, critical access hospitals and corrections. Before he asks for more money and more spending in next year’s budget, we need to fully complete last year’s budget; otherwise, we will be facing the threat once again of schools closing and essential programs and services ending.

“This looks to be another difficult budget year, but I remain hopeful we will be successful in negotiating a workable resolution that will not cause any further strain on the many schools, hospitals, agencies, programs and services that rely on state funding.”

For more information on the 2016-17 state budget, go to pahousegop.com.

Representative Julie Harhart
183rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman