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Friday, May 22, 2009

Scarnati Rebuts Rendell Administration Claims

Scarnati: I Refuse to Raise Taxes

WESB/WBRR News Director

Senator Joe Scarnati says his goal in negotiating a state budget is balancing the needs and the wants of state agencies.

He says the Senate Republicans have been criticized for passing a budget with major cuts in it – even more cuts than the governor's proposed budget.

But, Scarnati says, there has been continuing economic decline and loss of revenue since February when Governor Ed Rendell proposed his budget.

The Senate bill would spend $27.3 billion while the governor proposed a $29 billion spending plan.

Scarnati says Senate Bill 850 "reflects the current revenues the state expects to receive and the federal stimulus dollars, and (we) used those to craft the budget to live within our means."

He says while good programs are being cut and eliminated he believes "working families and our job creators would well-prefer to have state cuts than to take more money out of their pocketbooks."

"I refuse to raise taxes," he stresses.

Rendell, on the other hand, wants to raise personal income tax "to a rate that will just stifle economic development in this state," Scarnati says.

"I'm committed to trying to find a balance between the needs and wants of state government," he says

He says at a time when families, businesses and corporations are tightening their belts, he thinks all the special interest groups have to look at tightening their belts to survive the economic downturn.

Scarnati also talked about a recent press release from Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Acting Secretary John Quigley that said if Senate Bill 850 passes 35 state parks would have to close.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," Scarnati says, adding that Rendell's budget could be interpreted as closing up to 30 state parks.

"So he put out a press release saying we're closing 35."

"I don't believe for one minute that the constituents of the 25th District buy into the fact that I, or anybody else, would vote to close 35 state parks and do these drastic things," he says.

He says the state parks will stay open but will have to cut back and find a better way to fund the system over the next several years.

Scarnati says Pennsylvania is in a cycle in which every time the economy runs sour the governor and the Legislature have raised taxes dramatically.

"Those tax increases have put Pennsylvania at the tail end of economic development for the last several decades," Scarnati says. "It's my intent to get us out of that cycle."

The budget deadline is June 30, but there hasn't been an on-time budget since Rendell became governor.


Anonymous said...

Makes sense! The economy is in the toilet, people don't have let's raise taxes to cover government spending! How about government big-wigs live on what we live on. They can't do it!

Anonymous said...

Hey plain Joe, how about cutting waste.

Try reading the Grace Commision Report for a start, then come talk to us about cutting services and not raising taxes.

It was ordered by Ronald Regan.

Or just give the budget to any working family, I'm sure they could tell you what is waste.

What a fraud!

Anonymous said...

You tell 'em Joe...It is about time Rendell stops the lies to us hard working business owners!

We have worked our butts off for years to have what we have and keep people employed in this state, it is high time Rendell stops using the "scare" tactics! Now we have to work our butts off to keep what we have earned and keep employees employed!

Harrisburg needs to set a precedence for Washington and show them it CAN be done with limits and caps!

There is NO GOOD REASON to stress PA Wilds and dump money from our state budget into these programs and then close parks!

Kind of like cutting off your nose to spite your face!

Wake up Rendell and listen to Joe!

Anonymous said...

Cut the 5 million dollar grant the lumber museum is getting! The director of the "museum" and the local politicians should refuse the money.