“Unlike his first two budget proposals, today the governor outlined a plan that actually included some spending cuts and cost-saving efforts and, for the first time in his tenure, he is not seeking broad-based increases in income or sales taxes. That is a step in the right direction as we head into the budget negotiation process.
“But, as is the case with any legislation, the devil is in the details. We in the General Assembly will be reviewing those details in depth over the next few weeks, and my priority will be to ensure the final budget is not only fiscally responsible but also fair to the people of rural Pennsylvania.
“Although I am encouraged by the governor’s efforts to cut costs by consolidating state agencies and programs, I remain concerned by the overall level of spending. As presented today, this budget would require $1 billion in new tax revenue from Pennsylvania families and businesses. My goal would be to instead find additional ways to save, because government should not be operating beyond its means.
“Other areas of concern include significant cuts in funding for the state’s agriculture industry and the governor’s plan to charge a $25 per capita fee for state police service in municipalities without any local police coverage. This is an unreasonable and costly burden for our rural communities.
“The bottom line is, the proposal offered today represents the priorities of the governor. His plan will be carefully reviewed and likely change substantially over the next several months to better reflect the needs and priorities of people across the state.”