Oct. 30, 2018

Rep. Cris Dush (R-Jefferson/Indiana) is joining with his Common Sense Caucus colleagues in expressing extreme disappointment regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s recent vetoes of three bills that would have dramatically reduced the state’s debt, required the Department of Human Services to institute work requirements, and expanded career and technical education (CTE) opportunities for students across Pennsylvania.

House Bill 83 would have repaid the state’s debt in a more fiscally responsible manner by making equal payments during the life of new loans, rather than making smaller payments in the beginning. The legislation would reduce the amount of interest incurred.
“An analysis by House Appropriations Committee staff estimated that this one reform would have reduced outstanding general obligation debt by $1 billion over 20 years,” said Dush. “This change alone would have saved the Commonwealth millions in interest, and potentially generated even more substantial savings, if the level payments resulted in additional decisions to stop borrowing against future generations.”

House Bill 2138 would have established work requirements or community engagement as a condition of Medical Assistance eligibility for able-bodied recipients. The work requirements would have included being employed or obtaining a job training program for 20 or more hours a week or completing 12 job training program-related activities a month.

“The purpose of this legislation was to help these individuals regain their economic independence and restore the dignity of work to all Pennsylvanians,” said Dush. “This is the second time that the governor has vetoed this critical welfare reform measure that was again carefully vetted by the House and Senate, debated at length, and amended to ensure exclusions were outlined for all those who are unable to work.”

House Bill 2157 would have made it easier for schools to establish and renew vocational programs. In addition to strong bipartisan support in the General Assembly, this legislation was also supported by the Pennsylvania Association of Career and Technical Administrators, Pennsylvania Association of Agriculture Educators and the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

“The governor’s bizarre veto of this legislation to expand career and technical education in the Commonwealth flies in the face of what educators and employers have been telling us for years: our young people need to prepare themselves for success in the rapidly changing 21st century workplace to qualify for high-demand jobs that pay family-sustaining wages,” said Dush. “As a co-sponsor of this important legislation, I’m hopeful that the House and Senate can schedule an over-ride vote upon the return to session in November.”

The Common Sense Caucus is a growing group of rank-and-file House Republicans who are dedicated to the mission of defeating any new tax increases, welfare reform and controlling spending.

Representative Cris Dush
66th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Ty McCauslin
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