PA Budget & Policy Center Urges Lawmakers to Find Real Budget Solutions

 

Media Contact:
Ellen Lyon, 717-255-7156
lyon@pennbpc.org

PA Budget & Policy Center Urges Lawmakers to Find Real Budget Solutions

(HARRISBURG, Pa.) -- Aug. 24, 2015 -- Dr. Stephen Herzenberg, of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, called on members of the Pennsylvania House to focus on substantive budget negotiations rather than attempt futile veto override votes in the following statement released today:

“These planned line-item veto override votes are likely meaningless. Because the governor vetoed the entire Republican budget, only a veto override vote on the full budget would likely be constitutional. Moreover, until the General Assembly and the governor agree on how to raise all the revenue needed for a complete and balanced budget, agencies providing vital human services and other services included in line-item veto overrides have no guarantee that they will actually get the money they so desperately need.

Pennsylvania needs a gimmick-free state budget devoid of the bookkeeping tricks that created the state's growing structural deficit and resulted in five credit downgrades in the past three years. Before the legislature can credibly commit to allocating any funds it needs to first commit to sustainable new sources of revenue – sources that must endure longer than one year if they are to protect public services from a never-ending threat of cuts and disruption. Any effort to provide short-term fixes without addressing long-term solutions is bad policy that wastes more time, allows Pennsylvania’s budget problems to get bigger and continues to make human services agencies pawns of the annual budget process.

Rather than engaging in an exercise that will only create more political ill will and make compromise harder, we urge House members to focus on good-faith negotiations to achieve a fiscally sound budget. Pennsylvania needs a balanced compromise on the budget that restores funding cut from human services, education and other vital programs and lays the groundwork for increased investment in future years by ensuring stable, recurring revenue -- including a severance tax on natural gas.”


The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is a non-partisan policy research project that provides independent, credible analysis on state tax, budget and related policy matters, with attention to the impact of current or proposed policies on working families.

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Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 412 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101 | 717-255-7156

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