Governor Wolf Discusses Budget Priorities and the Need to Pass a Balanced Budget that Challenges the Status Quo
October 14, 2015
Washington, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf discussed his 2015-2016 budget priorities at a sit-down with media at the Washington County Courthouse. Governor Wolf spoke about the need to pass a budget that challenges the status quo in Harrisburg and does not rely on gimmicks to deal with Pennsylvania’s budget deficit.
“It is time for Republican leaders to put forward a serious proposal – for the first time – that will balance our budget, fund our schools, provide property tax relief and get Pennsylvania back on track,” said Governor Wolf. “The realities of Pennsylvania’s budget deficit and education funding crisis have not changed, but Republicans still refuse to take on the status quo. We cannot keep doing the same things and expect different results.”
The 2014-15 Republican budget relied on over $2 billion in one-time, unsustainable sources. These funds do not recur in 2015-16. Without new recurring revenue, Pennsylvania’s deficit will grow to nearly $2.3 billion in 2016-17, and when factoring in mandated costs, the commonwealth’s deficit will balloon to over $3 billion if action to fix the hole is not taken.
“We need to work together to address this deficit,” Governor Wolf continued. “If we ignore this problem, we will not be able to make vital investments in our schools, we will see further credit downgrades, and seniors and hard working families like those in the 48th district will be burdened with higher property taxes.”
Governor Wolf also discussed the harm that continuing the status quo of transferring funds, delaying payments, underfunding accounts, and other accounting gimmicks can do to Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania currently ranks near the bottom of the country in terms of investments in schools. The 2015-16 budget needs to make the investments to compete in a 21st century economy – investments that have not been made in years.
“Pennsylvania is facing a stark reality: fix the deficit without gimmicks or face more of the same problems that have stagnated Pennsylvania,” Governor Wolf said. “We can no longer simply continue this trend of bad budgeting. I’m working hard to challenge the status quo in Harrisburg so that we can deal with the massive budget deficit facing Pennsylvania.”