HARRISBURG – Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-46) voiced concerns today about the excessive $3.2 billion increase in state spending in Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposed 2024-25 state budget.
“The governor’s budget plan is an extensive wish list which would result in historic and unsustainable increases in state spending,” said Bartolotta. “However, he provided only half of the story. There was very little talk about how he intends to pay for these things, beyond the legalization of adult-use cannabis.”
Shapiro’s plan represents a 7.1% increase in overall state spending. This level of new spending makes it extremely difficult to balance future budgets and maintain anything in the state’s Rainy Day Fund. The spending and revenue projections that this budget are based on are unrealistic, resulting in deep spending cuts and painful broad-based tax increases on Pennsylvanians in the near future.
This spending approach runs in opposition to the responsible budgets Senate Republicans have fought to enact throughout the past several years. Recent budgets have earned praise from major credit rating agencies, increasing our bond rating and reducing nearly $100 million in long-term debt service costs to taxpayers.
This budget would likely result in higher inflation, leading to increased costs at a time when many families are struggling just to put gas in their vehicles and food on their table.
Also included is an idealistic hike in K-12 education spending of $1.5 billion, despite the governor’s own budget office projections showing that this kind of increase is not sustainable in future years.
“I am a strong supporter of public education and voted for the historic investments we made already. However, reforms that we advance in education, including increased funding, must improve student achievement and respect the taxpayers who foot the bill.”
Additionally, the plan seeks to increase mass transit funding by more than $280 million, with most of those funds going to SEPTA, with no benefit to the people of the 46th Senatorial District.
Senate Republicans will work during the next several months to examine Shapiro’s budget proposal and search for greater efficiencies. The Senate Appropriations Committee will begin its series of budget hearings to study the budget proposal on Feb. 20.
Watch video of Bartolotta’s reaction to Shapiro’s budget proposal here.
CONTACT: Katrina Hanna, 717-787-1463