HARRISBURG, June 30, 2014 – State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana today provided the following comment after the state Senate’s 30-19 party line vote for a Republican-sponsored 2015-16 fiscal year budget (House Bill 1192):

“It’s disappointing that Republicans are advocating this kind of gimmicky, irresponsible nonsense rather than negotiating a real budget in good faith.

“If this spending plan were to become law, our deficit would more than double to $3 billion within two years. Typical of recent Republican-sponsored budgets, this proposal exhausts every one-time revenue expenditure in sight, shifts line items around and relies heavily on accounting tricks. The plan would also sell-off of state liquor stores – killing off good jobs, increased prices for consumers and threatening the bottom line of our local beer-distributors.

This so-called budget is also an embarrassment for what it doesn’t do. It gives the gas drillers another pass on paying a modest extraction tax, underfunds our schools, and flat-lines job creation programs.

Perhaps worst of all, homeowners would face yet another round of huge property tax hikes because Republicans have again woefully underfunded our schools while ignoring the need to enact property tax reform.

Anticipating that the governor will stand up for all Pennsylvanians and veto this proposal, I hope the majority party will finally be willing to sit down with all parties to produce a budget that is balanced, responsible and addresses the state’s most pressing problems.”

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