HARRISBURG – Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32) fears the impact Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposed 2024-25 state budget – which comes with an excessive $3.2 billion increase in state spending – would have on Pennsylvania families.
Shapiro’s plan represents a 7.1% increase in overall state spending. In preparation, the administration used baseline revenue estimates that are cumulatively $5.6 billion higher than those estimates prepared by the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) for both the current year and five-year budget planning period.
“My colleagues and I have worked diligently in the Senate to make difficult financial decisions that resulted in a safety net to shield Pennsylvanians from hard times that will inevitably arise. Gov. Shapiro’s budget proposal would completely wipe out the Rainy Day Fund we worked so hard to build and leave taxpayers on the hook,” Stefano said. “We need to use the same smart budgeting that so many families use to keep their households running.”
The governor’s budget would completely eliminate the state’s current and future budgetary reserves – including the state’s savings account, the Rainy Day Fund – over the next five years. However, the Shapiro administration’s unrealistic spending and revenue projections mean the governor’s budget plans will likely create the need for deep spending cuts and broad-based tax increases on Pennsylvanians.
Shapiro’s budget approach runs in opposition to the cautious and responsible budgets Senate Republicans have fought to enact during the past several years. Recent budgets have earned praise from major credit rating agencies and led to a reduction of nearly $100 million in long-term debt service costs to taxpayers in the state’s most recent bond sale.
“This new level of spending could result in rising inflation on top of what we’re all already struggling with. We wouldn’t encourage one of our neighbors to spend beyond their means, and the expectation for government should be no different,” Stefano said. “Gov. Shapiro’s spending plan is ambitious, but without specific details, lacks substance.”
Senate Republicans will work during the next several months to examine Shapiro’s budget proposal and search for greater efficiencies. The Senate Appropriations Committee will begin its series of budget hearings to study the budget proposal on Feb. 20.
CONTACT: Amanda Cuteri, 717-787-7175