DeLissio responds to constituents’ questions on budget

HARRISBURG, July 2 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., today released the following statement on the Pennsylvania budget:

“The majority party delivered to the governor on Tuesday their version of a balanced budget. That budget has already been vetoed by the governor. A budget has not been vetoed in its entirety – as opposed to a line-item veto – in almost 40 years. Many citizens are asking how all of these events unfolded.

“The governor proposed in March a budget that would comprehensively change how we pay for government services. School property taxes would be reduced and in some instances eliminated.  Corporate taxes would be reduced and in some instances eliminated. A severance tax on Marcellus Shale was proposed, and increasing the personal income tax and sales and use tax were also proposed. The governor committed to begin to restore the basic education funding cuts from the previous four years, and to restore over a two-year period the funding cuts to higher education. Human services, also an area hard hit over the past four years, would also start to see dollars restored to their programs.

“The majority party budget did not include those items as proposed by the governor. In what instances they are included, the line items do not begin to restore the cuts, primarily because their budget included no tax increases.

“Personally, I believe that the budget scenario unfolded as it did so that legislators could go home to their districts and say they voted for a budget with no new taxes. At the majority party’s press conference this budget was touted as the best budget ever. They even went so far to say that if the governor signs their ‘great’ budget, they probably, inadvertently, handed the governor a second term. Such statements confirm for me that this budget was not a serious endeavor on their part, and that they are committed to distancing themselves from any investment in the state or any comprehensive changes as proposed by the governor.

“I applaud the governor’s full veto. The commonwealth is in need of the type of changes that he has proposed instead of the tweaks and bandages I have witnessed over the past four years. We will be back in Harrisburg in the not-too-distant future to begin again the budget debate. This time it will be for real.”