Senate Republican Leaders Say Cost Drivers Must Be Addressed

(HARRISBURG) – Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25), Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34), Senate Majority Appropriations Chairman Pat Browne (R-16) and Senate Majority Whip John Gordner (R-27) offered the following statement regarding the Commonwealth’s fiscal condition:

“The Governor’s Mid-Year Budget Briefing shows that mandated spending cost drivers, such as pensions and Medicaid, must be addressed in order to repair the Commonwealth’s fiscal balance.  To date, this responsibility has been met by Senate Democrats with roadblocks and barriers to these needed reforms.

“Over the past four years, the Republican controlled Legislature has passed four budgets that have held the line on spending and reduced the size of the government.  These budgets came on the heels of an unprecedented $4 billion budget gap inherited from the Rendell administration and brought our spending back in line with reality.

“Our commitment to fiscal responsibility has led to the Commonwealth’s lowest unemployment rate in six years, which continues to be below the national jobless rate.  Additionally, 185,000 new private sector jobs have been created in Pennsylvania since 2011 and continues to trend upwards.

“Despite these significant economic gains, mandated spending drivers, such as pensions and Medicaid, continue to outpace any fiscal growth and are simply unsustainable.  Opponents have refused to recognize this reality while conveniently acknowledging the crowding out effect that the imbalance of these mandated costs are having on all areas of the budget.

“The cost drivers must be addressed if we seek to continue to rein in the size of government and add new private sector jobs.  We look forward to continued work in the new year towards accomplishing these goals.”

CONTACTS:

Drew Crompton dcrompton@pasen.gov (717) 787-7084

Mark Meyer mmeyer@pasen.gov (717) 787-1377