Senate Approves Fiscally Responsible Budget On-time

House Bill 2279 restrains state spending, avoids tax increases

The Senate today approved and returned to the House of Representatives a state budget package that holds the line on spending and maintains state services and programs without a broad-based tax increase, according to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman (R-34).

Corman said HB 2279 reduces spending by $1 billion from the governor’s original request and includes a total revenue increase of less than 1 percent – “reflecting the recession we are in and the commitment of this Legislature to rein in spending and to tighten our belts.”

“This is a fiscally conservative budget that reflects the tough economic times both individuals and the state is facing and does not raise taxes on Pennsylvanians who are also struggling,” Corman said.  “Every department and line-item was scrutinized to find ways to rein in spending without the need to further the burden on taxpayers.”

While keeping spending to a lower level, House Bill 2279 also increases funding for education and ensures that the state continues to fund core government programs and services. Corman stated the bill was “a fair share commitment that seeks balance support with economic reality.”

Corman said the final budget also reflects cooperation among legislators throughout the state who were determined to get a budget done that was fair and on time so that programs and services that rely on state funding were not impacted. “We made a commitment to get this budget done on time and to spend less and we met that goal,” stated Corman.  “To reduce costs under what we spent two years ago, in the face of rising mandates, is unparalleled in recent Commonwealth history.”

Scott Sikorski