2016-17 Fiscal Year Budget first in five years to cover costs

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D- Lancaster, released the following statement following the passage of the 2016-17 Fiscal Year Budget:  

“This is the first budget in five years, assuming we can get the revenue, which does not increase the structural budget deficit. While it doesn’t reduce the existing deficit, at least it doesn’t continue the practice of spending more than we have in the state coffers.

“I still have some concerns including the practice of stealing money from the Motor License Fund, a total of $814 million this year. This budget increases money to basic education, but does not solve the problems of inequity in funding those schools. It removes some people with disabilities off of waiting lists for services; however, there is still a five year waiting list for people hoping to access services. Can you imagine if we ran other parts of our government this way?

“I challenge those who refused to support this budget with the excuse that they wanted more cuts to propose what specifically they would like to cut and not just rely on the blanket statement of identifying ‘waste, fraud and abuse’. Propose specifically which classes they’d like to cut from school curriculum, how many prisoners to let out of jail or how many seniors to kick out of nursing home care facilities. The frivolous claim to find dollars where they do not exist is simply not enough and has not been enough for half-a-decade.

“This year’s budget pays for what it proposes to do and, while I think we have a long way to go to do better for Pennsylvania, this is the first in five years that makes progress towards helping our neediest citizens, investing in our future and paying our bills.”