HARRISBURG – Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) said today that the state budget plan advanced by the House addresses the core functions of government, balances spending with available revenues and does not raise taxes on hard-working Pennsylvania families or senior citizens.
“The citizens who sent us here expect us to be good stewards of their hard-earned tax dollars,” Bloom said. “To me, that means we spend only what needs to be spent and not a dollar more. It means we only ask for a tax increase if it is absolutely, unquestionable necessary. We should never demand more hard-earned dollars from our taxpayers unless we’ve first exhausted every option. It’s our job as legislators to solve problems for our taxpayers, not create new unnecessary problems for them.”
The state budget, totaling $30.18 billion, keeps spending in check and below the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) benchmark growth rate. Critical investments will be made to public education, from early childhood education through K-12 public schools and higher education; along with human service programs for senior citizens, those with physical and intellectual disabilities, and domestic violence and rape crisis centers.
“To fund his own political wish list, Governor Wolf demanded a package of painful new taxes and expected the taxpayers to foot the bill while he catered to special interests,” Bloom said. “With the state budget presented and passed by the House today, we have the opportunity to fund the priorities of Pennsylvanians and balance the budget without reaching any farther into the taxpayers’ wallets, and I was proud to support that effort.”
Specifically, House Bill 1192
includes $100 million in new state dollars for basic education that is combined with reforms to the basic education funding formula and improvements in accountability, $20 million for special education, $30 million for early education programs, $300 million in savings for the state and school districts to pay for capital improvements, and a $41 million across-the-board funding increase for higher education.
“This is a budget that funds education and critical services without Governor Wolf’s job-crushing tax hike scheme, and without his convoluted and misguided shell game of higher income and sales taxes cloaked in the illusion of pretend property tax relief,” Bloom said.
Under House Bill 1192, home- and community-based services will also see an increase of $96 million, with a program expansion to help an additional 3,756 seniors. Services for those individuals with disabilities will increase by $41 million.
The budget now goes to the Senate for that chamber’s agreement before heading to the governor’s desk where its future remains uncertain.
“Republicans in the House and Senate are sending the governor an on-time, balanced budget on behalf of the taxpayers of Pennsylvania, and I implore Governor Wolf to do the right thing and sign it into law,” Bloom said. “Government that works requires a budget that is signed.”
To hear more of Bloom’s remarks on House Bill 1192, visit Youtube.com/RepBloom
Representative Stephen Bloom
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Haslam