HARRISBURG – Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Abbottstown) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s spending plan:
“Today the governor put forth a spending proposal that would squander the state’s savings account and have long-lasting consequences for the Commonwealth’s fiscal future. His plan to increase spending to $48.34 billion, up $3.7 billion, is in opposition to the work we did to shore up the Commonwealth’s Rainy Day Fund. It is unsustainable and would likely need to be paid for by the citizens of Pennsylvania. His proposal would put us on a path of spending well outside of our means, knowing that the economic climate has not kept up with our spending.
“The governor proposes to cover some of his spending with new vice taxes on expanded gambling and legalized marijuana. These new tax streams would eventually dry up, leaving only forthcoming tax hikes on all Pennsylvanians to foot the bill.
“Additionally, he also proposed a consolidation of the state system of higher education and community colleges into one line item in the budget. Furthermore, his request would continue the grant process to dole money out to state-related universities. My colleagues and I have concerns regarding what is an extremely complicated proposal that’s presented as a simplified statement with very little detail or explanation from the governor on how this would be funded.
“Nevertheless, I appreciate the proposal of key investments in our agriculture sector, which is at the heart of our community and local economy. We must continue to help secure our food supply and support farmers in this vital sector. I am also encouraged to see his desire to add additional funding for career and technical education to help prepare young people for the jobs right here in Pennsylvania, as well as the line item for business innovation to support budding entrepreneurs.
“Moving forward in the process, the House Appropriations Committee, of which I am a member, will now undertake budget hearings that will more closely examine these budget requests. The governor’s address today was a proposal and a wish list. It is now up to the us to carefully examine the state’s finances to determine what is viable as we work toward a budget that respects taxpayers and spends within our means.”
Representative Torren Ecker
193rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross