HARRISBURG – Senator Ryan P. Aument (R-36) issued the following statement today in response to final passage of a 2015-16 budget plan that funds essential state services and devotes more than $200 million in new dollars to education without increasing state taxes:
“The budget created by the General Assembly represents a reasonable and responsible allocation of state resources that stands in stark contrast to Governor Wolf’s call for $12 billion in new taxes over the next two years. Passage of this budget sends a strong signal that state government is perfectly capable of investing in our shared priorities without gouging the taxpayer.
“Many advocates have called on lawmakers to increase the amount of resources that are devoted to students, and the best way we can accomplish that goal is by reforming a pension system that has devoured all new funding devoted to education over the past several years. This approach will ensure any new funding devoted to this cause is not dedicated exclusively to a pension system that taxpayers cannot afford.
“In addition to solving the pension crisis and removing the state from the wholesale liquor business, the budget invests in a number of local priorities of interest. Each school district in the 36th Senatorial District will receive an increase is state funding, and additional support is included to monitor and prevent the spread of the highly pathogenic avian flu, which is of immediate concern for the poultry industry and the agriculture community as a whole.
“It is noteworthy that this budget accomplishes all of these goals without the need for a tax increase. Although the governor originally threatened to veto a budget he hadn’t yet read because it did not satisfy his desire for new revenues, I am hopeful he will do what is best for Pennsylvanians and sign this budget as soon as possible. Lawmakers and state residents have soundly rejected his method of massive tax and spending hikes. Should he chose to veto all or part of this budget, the onus is on Governor Wolf to present a new way forward and not the same old failed strategy of demanding that more of our hard-earned dollars are sent to Harrisburg.”
CONTACT: Stephanie Buchanan (717) 787-4420