Everett Reacts to Proposed 2009-10 State Budget

Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming)

Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming)

HARRISBURG – Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) today issued the following reaction to Gov.Ed Rendell’s proposed 2009-10 state budget:
“I am very disappointed in the budget proposal that the governor presented to the citizens of the Commonwealth and the General Assembly today. He has been saying that Pennsylvania is suffering through rough economic times and everyone is going to have to make some sacrifices, and then he proposes a budget for next year which increases spending by $700 million over what was enacted last year. With predictions that the state is facing a deficit of at least $2.3 billion for this year, it is unconscionable that the governor would propose tax and spending increases and even propose expensive new programs.

“This increase in spending comes at a time when the governor has clearly stated that there will be no increase in the projected state revenues for next year. I fail to see how he can propose any increased spending or new programs in the current economic environment.

“Of great concern to me is the fact that the governor is relying on $3.5 billion in one-time revenues in this budget coming from federal stimulus funds that we are not even sure we are going to receive. While this ‘smoke and mirrors’ form of accounting may help get us through this year, this continued lack of fiscal discipline now will only lead to much larger tax increases in the upcoming years when the governor is gone and on a beach someplace.

“We have a great opportunity to change the way we have done business in Pennsylvania and come out of this fiscal crisis better off then we went in. But we will not do that with tax hikes and increased spending. We will do that by making the hard decisions that the citizens of Pennsylvania deserve from their elected representatives.

“In the next weeks and months, I will have a better chance to get into the details of the governor’s proposed budget, but I can tell you that a first look has me very concerned. It is true that the governor has proposed some cuts in spending – the ones I see at a glance slash the budget appropriations to the Pennsylvania College of Technology, agriculture and agricultural research, fire departments and emergency management services and other programs which benefit rural Pennsylvania while again increasing the appropriations for the welfare budget.

“Right now, this proposal is unacceptable to me and all hard-working Pennsylvanians and I will fight hard over the next few months to ensure that a state budget is passed that reduces state spending on wasteful and unnecessary programs and does not increase the tax burden on the hardworking families of the Commonwealth”

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