Aument: Governor’s Budget Message a Missed Opportunity

HARRISBURG – Senator Ryan P. Aument (R-36) issued the following statement today in reaction to the governor’s proposed $33.8 billion 2015-16 state budget:

“The governor’s budget plan essentially asks northern Lancaster County communities to pay for Harrisburg’s mistakes. We cannot ask our friends and neighbors to hand over even more money in the form of enormous tax increases without first fixing the structural deficit problems in the state budget.

“When dealing with complex problems like quality education funding, pensions and property taxes, simply throwing money at the problem will not solve anything. In this case, calling for crippling increases to broad-based taxes in order to pay for massive increases in state spending will only make these problems more difficult to solve in the future.

“In particular, the governor missed a golden opportunity to call for necessary reforms to the state’s pension systems. Instead of tackling the problem head-on, the governor chose the ostrich approach of burying his head in the sand and pretending the problem doesn’t exist.

“Exploring ways to help low-income working families climb the ladder of economic success is one of my highest legislative priorities. I have serious concerns that the governor’s massive proposed tax increases would only serve to knock them down a few rungs.

“I suspect that the final budget approved by the General Assembly will differ substantially from the proposal the governor presented today. I am confident that my colleagues and I in the General Assembly can chart a better path forward that funds critical programs and services without billions upon billions of new taxes and government spending.”


Jake Smeltz (717) 787-4420