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2929 Gettysburg Road, Suite 6
Camp Hill PA 17011
Tel:  (717) 761-4665
Fax:  (717) 731-7126
Staff contact: Ryan Stevens
Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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107 Ryan Office Building
PO Box 202088
Harrisburg PA 17120-2088
Tel: 717-783-5282
Fax: 717-772-9994
Staff contact:  Jenn Haines
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Email:
sdelozie@pahousegop.com
Delozier Votes Against Unsustainable State Budget
10/9/2009
HARRISBURG – Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) today said that she is pleased the state budget is finally complete but raised concerns about the future impact it will have on the Commonwealth.

“I’m happy that funds will start flowing to social service agencies, school districts and counties,” Delozier said.  “The people of Pennsylvania have been inconvenienced far too long to allow this to go on any longer.  However, I do have serious concerns on the state’s fiscal health by the radical policies included in this plan.”

Delozier noted that this budget spends $27.8 billion, which reflects $1.1 billion less than what the governor requested earlier this year.  Although this is a positive move toward reduced government spending, more could have been done to lessen the impact in future budgets.

“I’m not convinced that this budget was the best approach in protecting our fiscal stability and shielding taxpayers from massive tax increases in the coming years,” Delozier said.  “Some tweaks to this year’s budget could have been made to avoid future deficits and it’s unfortunate that those that worked to craft the final budget were not able to have more fiscal restraint and still reach a compromise.  There were a number of options that had been put forward by the House Republican Caucus that would have allowed for a balanced budget, no tax increases, or using all of the Rainy Day Fund”

Although this budget includes no broad-based tax increases, it does raid the $755 million in the Rainy Day Fund and the $708 million in the Health Care Provider Retention Account.  In addition, $150 million of the Tobacco Endowment Account and $100 million of the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCare) Fund will be used to balance the budget.

“It defies logic that we would completely drain the Commonwealth’s savings account in one year, which could create financial disaster next year,” Delozier said.  “Furthermore, extracting money from accounts that ensure Pennsylvanians have access to readily available health care is completely irresponsible.”

Although this budget spends less than last year, it is not reflective of actual revenues coming into the Commonwealth.  State government should be looking to reduce the burden on taxpayers, and ensuring that every dollar the state receives is used for its intended purpose.

The spending plan also relies on nearly $1.5 billion in new revenues, including a 53 percent increase in the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax (CSFT), which is paid by a business based on its value.  This tax would revert from the current 1.89 mills to 2.89 mills.  The CSFT was statutorily reduced to 1.89 mills on Jan. 1, and now state government wants business owners to retroactively pay the tax at the higher rate, resulting in a significant tax increase.

“Inflicting financial harm on businesses jeopardizes job growth and retention throughout the Commonwealth,” Delozier said.  “During the current economic climate, the last thing state government should do is create policies that could potentially restrict employment opportunities.”

As Delozier reflects on the budget impasse that began on July 1, she said that next year’s budget process needs to start early to prevent delays of funding to important programs and services that thousands of Pennsylvanians rely on.

“I understand that philosophical differences occur among individuals of different political parties,” Delozier said.  “That’s why it is incumbent upon members of the General Assembly and the governor to work together in a bipartisan fashion in the best interest of the Commonwealth.”

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Rep.  Sheryl Delozier
88th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
(717) 761-4665
Contact:  Tim Eller
House Republican Public Relations
teller@pahousegop.com
(717) 260-6242
Member Site: RepDelozier.com
Caucus Site:  PAHouseGOP.com