Sturla calls on Republicans to address structural deficit in ongoing budget negotiations

HARRISBURG, Oct. 7 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, said he voted today to eliminate the structural deficit and adequately fund education and human services.

“Structural deficit spending has been going on for seven years now and it’s catching up with the state. Pennsylvania has received five credit downgrades in the past three years. The amendment that was defeated today would have addressed the deficit and went a long way in restoring the cuts to education and human services over the past administration’s tenure,” Sturla explained.

Sturla said that while he is disappointed that the legislation did not pass, he pleased that legislators across the aisle are acknowledging the state’s fiscal problems.

“It took 99 days for Republicans to finally acknowledge that there is a structural budget deficit. Moving forward, that information needs to be just as much a part of negotiations as adequately funding schools, human service and property tax relief for our most vulnerable citizens,” Sturla said.

“It’s taken years for the poor fiscal management of years’ past to catch up with the state and result in credit downgrades. We need to act now to improve our finances because it will take years of sound decisions to climb out of the hole.”

Sturla also noted that a modest personal income tax would keep Pennsylvania among the lowest personal income taxes in the nation.

“The structural budget deficit is still the elephant in the room and will need to be addressed; but regardless, my colleagues need to either put up the tough vote for raising revenues or be willing to implement drastic cuts in the very near future.”