HARRISBURG – In an effort to move the state budget talks past the current stalemate, House and Senate Republican leaders today announced a vote on Gov. Tom Wolf’s full and latest tax package proposal will take place in the House on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015.
The leaders made the announcement a day after Gov. Wolf’s veto of an emergency funding bill aimed at getting needed cash to schools, local human service providers and state agencies. The state auditor general released a report Tuesday showing school districts have paid at least $11.2 million to banks due to the impasse; that amount, to be borne by taxpayers, will only increase as long as a budget is not in place.
“The only thing standing between the governor and the $5 billion tax increase his budget requires is the simple fact that there are not 102 Republican or Democratic votes in the House for it to pass. The sooner the governor accepts this fact, the sooner we can actually get a budget done,” House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) said. “It is long past time to negotiate a budget based in reality.”
“We continue to be troubled by the governor’s decision to hold vital services and schools hostage. It really didn’t need to happen,” Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) said. “Meeting after meeting, it has become crystal clear that this budget impasse is about one thing – the governor scoring the largest tax increase in our history, which includes a 14 percent increase to your personal income tax. It’s time we all find out who shares that vision.”
“Instead of getting help to our seniors, students and victims, Gov. Wolf manufactured a crisis to support his continual demands for massive tax increases on every citizen and employer,” House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) said. “His proposals, while dressed up, are clearly aimed at protecting the status quo, rather than the people we serve.”
“Despite the fact that the majority of hard-working Pennsylvanians cannot afford Gov. Wolf’s massive tax and spending plans, he continues to push for them,” Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) said. “Not once – but twice now – the General Assembly has met our constitutional obligation to pass a balanced budget, yet Gov. Wolf refused to sign them because they didn’t include his billions of dollars of tax increases. With this vote, we will have a clear understanding of how much support the governor truly has for his tax and spending plans.”
The Republican leaders sent the governor a letter confirming the commitment made last week to allow the governor the time to gather the needed votes for his tax plan.
Legislative Leaders Letter to Wolf 9-30-15
Representative Dave Reed
Media Contact: Stephen Miskin
717-705-7173 (Office) 717-756-3936 (Cell)
Senator Jake Corman
Media Contact: Jennifer Kocher (717) 787-1377