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.
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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The following 28 Senators are sponsors of this legislation:

1. Chip Brightbill
2. Jeffrey Piccola
3. Lisa Boscola
4. James Rhoades
5. Bob Regola
6. Robert Jubilirer
7. Terry Punt
8. Jane Earll
9. Robert Robbins
10. Mary Jo White
11. Edwin Erickson
12. John Rafferty
13. Patricia Vance
14. Jane Clare Orie
15. John Gordner
16. Dominic Pileggi
17. Donald White
18. Jake Corman
19. Noah Wenger
20. Joseph Scarnati
21. Robert Thompson
22. Charles Lemmond
23. John Pippy
24. Roger Madigan
25. Gibson Armstrong
26. Robert Wonderling
27. Mike Waugh
28. Pat Browne

Rep. Feese's "Taxpayer Protection Plan" would constitutionally limit annual increases in state spending to the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index (a commonly used measure of the increase in the cost of living). House Bill 1663 is sponsored by 81 of Pennsylvania's 203 Representatives, including:

1. Brett Feese
2. Sam Smith
3. Daryl Metcalfe
4. William Adolph
5. Robert Allen
6. David Argall
7. Gib Armstrong
8. Matthew Baker
9. Roy Baldwin
10. Stephen Barrar
11. Bob Bastian
12. Kerry Benninghoff
13. Jerry Birmelin
14. Scott Boyd
15. Raymond Bunt
16. Steven Cappelli
17. Martin Causer
18. Paul Clymer
19. Susan Cornell
20. Jacqueline Crahalla
21. Tom Creighton
22. Craig Dally
23. Gordon Denlinger
24. Brian Ellis
25. Russ Fairchild
26. John Fichter
27. Patrick Fleagle
28. Robert Flick
29. Teresa Forcier
30. William Gabig
31. Richard Geist
32. Keith Gillespie
33. Mauree Gingrich
34. Matthew Good
35. Glenn Grell
36. Mike Hanna
37. Julie Harhart
38. Adam Harris
39. Lynn Herman
40. Arthur Hershey,
41. Dick Hess
42. David Hickernell
43. Scott Hutchinson
44. Robert Kauffman
45. Mark Keller
46. Thomas Killion
47. Dennis Leh
48. John Maher
49. Sandra Major
50. Ronald Marsico
51. Mark McNaughton
52. David Millard
53. Sheila Miller
54. Mark Mustio
55. John Payne
56. Scott Petri
57. Merle Phillips
58. Tina Pickett
59. Jeff Pyle
60. Thomas Quiqley
61. Kathy Rapp
62. David Reed
63. Douglas Reichley
64. Samuel Rohrer
65. Carole Rubley
66. Larry Sather
67. Stanley Saylor
68. Mario Scavello
69. Curt Schroder
70. Paul Semmel
71. Curt Sonney
72. Jerry Stern
73. Richard Stevenson
74. Thomas Stevenson
75. Elinor Z. Taylor
76. Katie True
77. Mike Turzai
78. Katharine Watson
79. Rod Wilt
80. Matthew Wright
81. Peter Zug