HARRISBURG – Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) issued the following statement today in response to Governor Wolf’s 2019-20 budget address:
“It is a positive sign that Governor Wolf’s spending plan does not include a broad-based tax increase, but we are also less than a week removed from him proposing a new severance tax that will undoubtedly cost the state jobs and future economic growth – especially in southwestern Pennsylvania. It is even more troubling that he wants to use the hypothetical money generated from that tax to pay for billions of dollars in new borrowing. New taxes coupled with new borrowing is not a recipe for long-term economic growth.
“Most of the initiatives included in the Governor’s new borrowing plan are already funded through the existing impact fee paid by natural gas producers, and other initiatives in the plan could be addressed without the need for new revenues. We need to focus more on spending taxpayer dollars responsibly, not extravagant borrowing.
“While I certainly have deep concerns with the plan presented by the Governor today, I am encouraged that we do share some of the same priorities. A stronger focus on workforce development and commonsense changes to our criminal justice system are two areas where I believe we can compromise and work together in the best interests of the people we are elected to serve.
“I also have serious reservations about Governor Wolf’s call for a $15 minimum wage. As Chair of the Senate Labor and Industry Committee, I hope to work in the months ahead to examine the issue closely and get a clearer picture of how a minimum wage increase could affect consumers, small business owners, low-income workers and our vulnerable citizens living on fixed incomes.”
CONTACT: Katrina Hanna (717) 787-1463