Harrisburg, PA – Senator Tom McGarrigle (R-26) today said that he will work with Senate colleagues to carefully review the 2017-18 state budget announced today by Gov. Tom Wolf.
“For two years, Governor Wolf sought significant spending increases paid for by massive tax increases, and I appreciate the fact that this year he took an approach that looks to find savings first,” said McGarrigle. “The General Assembly now must examine his ideas for consolidating services and raising revenue, to determine whether he can truly balance the budget while delivering needed services.”
The Governor proposes total spending of $32.337 billion which is an increase of $571.5 million or, 1.8 percent, above the current spending. The Basic Education Funding allocation is proposed at $5.995 billion, an increase of $100 million, or 1.7 percent.
A portion of the savings in Governor Wolf’s proposed budget comes from the consolidation of the departments of Aging, Health, Human Services and Drug and Alcohol Programs into a single entity. It is unclear how the departments would be merged, the number of positions that would be eliminated and the programs and services that would be impacted.
The budget includes approximately a billion dollars in new revenue, including new taxes on custom programming, design and data processing, commercial storage, airline purchases, aircraft sales and natural gas.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will begin three weeks of public hearings on the proposed budget on February 21.
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