Budget Restores Some Cuts But Maintains Fiscally Responsible Approach, Says Everett
HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania House lawmakers today approved a new state budget that continues their commitment to protecting tax dollars and maintaining fiscal restraint. Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming), who supported the measure, praised the spending plan as a balanced approach to addressing the state’s fundamental priorities.
“Despite continuing to face significant economic challenges, we have again presented residents of Pennsylvania with a responsible budget that avoids new taxes,” Everett said. “This plan maintains our commitment to vital programs like education and represents another building block toward Pennsylvania’s economic recovery.”
The 2012-13 budget, which was approved in the House by a vote of 120-81, represents a balanced approach that combines fiscal restraint with a commitment to critical programs and services. Slated to spend $27.7 billion, the plan restores many of the funding cuts included in the governor’s February budget proposal and grows at 1.45 percent over last year – below the rate of inflation.
At the time of his budget address, the governor was forced to manage a projected $700 million deficit that proposed cuts to areas such as school funding and higher education. Thanks to better-than-expected revenue collections in recent months, lawmakers and the governor were able to avoid many of those original cuts and sustain critical funds to many priority programs.
In addition to restoring higher education funding, an additional $100 million was added to the Accountability Block Grant program for basic education and $50 million more for distressed school districts.
Everett said the budget aligns state spending with reliable and recurring revenues so that the spending level can be sustained going forward.
“The drive to restore fiscal sanity is driven over a rough road, but this is another significant step forward to better manage our financial condition,” said Everett. “The abuse of federal stimulus funds had to be overcome, and through good management, the budget has been brought back to reality.”
State Representative Garth Everett
84th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Raymond Smith