HARRISBURG, June 30, 2014 – State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana today provided the following comment after the state Senate approved the 2014-15 fiscal year budget (House Bill 2328):

“Apart from the usual misguided priorities, I’m alarmed that so-called fiscal conservatives have saddled Pennsylvanians with a budget that doesn’t add up.

This spending plan uses one-time gimmicks and counts on revenue projections that are highly unlikely to materialize. It’s irresponsible and aimed solely at shielding the governor and majority Republicans in an election year.

For example, this spending plan ominously relies on a record number fund transfers and revenue from programs/initiatives such as Healthy PA that haven’t even been approved yet.

While I am relieved that the House plan to suspend over a dozen key tax-credit programs aimed to spur economic growth was rejected in the Senate, I still have grave concerns with regard to the overall plan. With our economy performing among the worst in the nation, I was disappointed that majority Republicans largely ignored investing in proven economic development programs aimed at readying our workforce for available jobs.

Finally, despite all the election year rhetoric, homeowners should brace for another potential round of property tax hikes because state government has again woefully underfunded our schools.

This legislature is required to produce a sustainable balanced budget. The Administration and the Majority Republicans have shirked that responsibility and condemned us to making some dire decisions next year to make up for the daunting shortfalls that this budget will surely spawn.”

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