HARRISBURG – Senator Pat Stefano (R-32) released the following statement today in reaction to Governor Wolf’s visit to Connellsville to push for his budget plan, which calls for more than $4 billion in tax increases. Click here to view Senator Stefano’s remarks.
“It’s extremely disappointing that Governor Wolf continues to travel around the state pushing for higher taxes and spending that state residents and legislators have rejected, rather than working to pass a fiscally responsible budget that will provided much needed funding to our schools, non-profits and community organizations.
“In June the governor vetoed a budget passed by the Senate and House even though 70 percent of the spending items were the same or greater than what he proposed in his own budget.
“His choice to use the blanket veto cut off funding to social services agencies that serve our neighbors in need. It also halted funding streams for the schools, including federal dollars that flow through the state.
“To move negotiations forward, we offered a compromise, agreeing to fully fund education, at levels the governor requested in exchange for a pension reform plan that addresses the No. 1 cause of property tax hikes and school cutbacks. The governor refused.
“Then on September 29, the governor vetoed an emergency funding plan the legislature passed to release state funding to our communities.
“As a result of his actions, schools are being forced to borrow money, programs for seniors, the homeless and children are running out of money and organizations are laying off workers and closing their doors.
“I have food banks whose shelves are bare. We can’t feed the seniors with our meals on wheels services. Everyone here is telling me to stand strong – they don’t want tax increases. But the Governor feels he knows better and is holding Pennsylvanians hostage.
“It’s time for Governor Wolf to stop the ‘my way or the highway’ campaign. We have to move away from stalemate and see some progress.
“I talk to my constituents every day – at meetings around the district, through emails and phone calls and on the streets of the communities I represent. They don’t want to send more of their hard-earned money to Harrisburg. Higher income taxes and increased spending is not going to help families or grow our economy. It will only grow the government.
“I’m here in Harrisburg, working for my constituents. The governor has instituted a ban on travel because of our dire funding situation. He should apply that travel restriction to himself and stay here in Harrisburg until we get this budget done — rather than campaigning across the state on a tax-and-spend agenda that Pennsylvanians simply do not support.”
CONTACT: Ben Wren (717) 787-7175