HARRISBURG – The Senate Finance Committee approved a bill today that would limit the growth of state spending and ensure the state budget aligns with the economy and what taxpayers can afford, according to the bill’s sponsor, Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46).
Senate Bill 286 – also known as the Taxpayer Protection Act – is a constitutional amendment that ties the growth of state spending to a combined rate of inflation and population growth. Although the bill does not mandate cuts to state programs or service, it does create commonsense guiderails to prevent runaway spending growth, Bartolotta said.
“When state government spends beyond its means, the taxpayers are stuck with the bill. We should not ask hardworking Pennsylvanians to send more of their money to Harrisburg to cover irresponsible levels of government spending,” Bartolotta said. “The never-ending cycle of spending increases and tax hikes has to stop. This bill will reverse that trend and ensure the state budget is managed more responsibly.”
The spending limits in the Taxpayer Protection Act may be exceeded in case of emergency, like COVID-19, if approved by a supermajority of the General Assembly.
As a proposed constitutional amendment, the bill must be approved by lawmakers in two consecutive legislative sessions before going to the voters for a final decision as a ballot referendum. It does not require the governor’s signature.
The bill was sent to the full Senate for consideration.
CONTACT: Katrina Hanna (717) 787-1463