NEWS RELEASE on 07.05.05
Public Service vs. Lip Service
Tonight's Budget Vote Will Reveal Members' Commitment to PA Taxpayers
Harrisburg, PA - As Pennsylvania lawmakers enter the final hours of the budget process, the Commonwealth Foundation reminded the 28 Senators who sponsored Senate Bill 4 and the 81 Representatives who sponsored House Bill 1663 that their budget vote tonight will reveal the true level of commitment to fiscal restraint.
Gov. Ed Rendell proposed a FY 2005-06 budget of $23.845 billion -- a 4.2 percent increase in spending over last year's budget of $22.876 billion. But if House Bill 1663, sponsored by House Appropriations Chairman Brett Feese, or Senate Bill 4, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chip Brightbill, were law today, the increase in state government spending would be limited to 2.8 or 2.7 percent, respectively.
According to calculations by the Commonwealth Foundation, if Rep. Feese's spending limitation were applied to the FY 2005-06 budget, Pennsylvania taxpayers would see a budget of $23.527 billion -- or $318 million smaller than the governor's proposal. And if Sen. Brightbill's spending limit was in effect, the burden to Pennsylvania taxpayers would be more than $351 million less than under the governor's proposal-a total spending plan of $23.494 billion.
Senator Brightbill's "Taxpayer Fairness Act" would limit state spending growth to the lower of either a) the average rate of change of inflation plus state population growth for the three preceding years or b) the average rate of change in state personal income for the three preceding years.(See comments of this blog entry to view the listing of names of the 28 PA Senators and various PA Reps who had signed onto those prior acts to keep down the budget's growth.)
"Tonight's vote on the budget will reveal if Pennsylvanians are getting public service or just good old lip service from these elected officials," said Commonwealth Foundation President Matthew J. Brouillette. "And we look forward to praising those who put taxpayers' interests ahead of special interests."
The Commonwealth Foundation is an independent, non-profit public policy research and educational institute based in Harrisburg.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Commonwealth Foundation chimes in on PA budget mess
Solid data follows with blogmaster's highlights. Neither Fontana nor Diven were a part of the prior efforts to keep the budget in check. We'll be watching what happens.