BLOG: 2016-2017 Budget Must Close Deficit to Avert Funding Crisis
By: Jeff Sheridan, Press Secretary
June 22, 2016
It is a widely-acknowledged fact that a reliance on one-time fixes and delayed payments has led Pennsylvania into a dire financial crisis: a massive deficit that threatens our investment in schools, social programs and public safety.
Governor Wolf is working with Republicans and Democrats in the General Assembly and he’s engaged them for their ideas to accomplish this task responsibly.
While some may differ on the extent of the problem, nearly every budget analyst believes our deficit for the 2016-2017 budget is well over one billion dollars.
Pennsylvania’s choice is to face this head-on and find revenue and savings to balance the budget honestly with sustainable revenue and end our reliance on gimmicks, or we must prepare to face another round of major cuts to important programs.
Governor Wolf and Republicans and Democrats who’ve acknowledged our budget crisis are not alone – credit rating agencies continue to call for action on the deficit.
In March, Standard and Poor’s said: “In our view, the immediate credit concern is that failure to act in the current fiscal year could compound future fiscal gaps.” Moody’s, Fitch and PNC have all repeatedly issued the same warnings.
No one party or moment in time is solely responsible for the crisis we now face – but the responsibility falls on all leaders now to fix it.
As the budget deadline nears, we need to end our reliance on one time fixes and delayed payments that have patched our budgets in the past. We need a truly balanced budget with sustainable revenue.
Governor Wolf has compromised on taxes, liquor reform, and pension reform, but he will not compromise on the mathematical reality of Pennsylvania’s financial situation.
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