HARRISBURG – Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest) said today that the governor’s proposal may strike the right tone in terms of addressing the biggest issues facing Pennsylvania, but the plan is still much too high to be realistic for taxpayers.
The governor has called for $33 billion in total spending, $1 billion more than the current fiscal year. Yet again, the governor wants to tax one of the bright spots in Pennsylvania’s economy by implementing a natural gas severance tax – a move that could cost western Pennsylvania thousands of jobs.
“I agree with the governor that more attention needs to be placed on workforce development and career and technical education – that’s where the jobs are. I am greatly encouraged by people who want to work in technical careers and the trades,” Oberlander said. “But this governor cannot continue to target a growing industry because he thinks there won’t be consequences felt here at home. That’s just not reality in the shale areas.”
During budget negotiations, Oberlander said that she and her colleagues will continue to stand up for taxpayers by outlining four principles they want to see in the next enacted budget: Developing work and economic opportunities; educating for success; escaping government dysfunction; and protecting families and communities.
“This budget sets the stage for our spring legislative session, and all around us, we see positive economic signs,” Oberlander said. “Revenues are meeting or above projections, and with tax cuts at the federal level, people will be able to spend more of their own money. While that will help our state’s economy, we must be mindful to control spending and establish policies that will allow us to thrive.”
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.
More information about the governor’s budget proposal is available at www.PAHouseGOP.com.